Afghanistan's Taliban regime reacted defiantly to the US-led attacks, claiming "our people" already were carrying out a jihad in response. Spokesman also said at least 20 people, some of them children were killed in Sunday's bombings and missile strikes, which hit targets in Kabul, the capital, Kandahar, the Taliban base, and other cities. But Osama bin Laden and Taliban chief Muhamad Omar were said to be unharmed. (Stories, pages 1, 7; editorial, page 10.)

The Northern Alliance will wait for "a better time" to press an offensive against Kabul, its spokesman said, even though "the amount of damage to [the Taliban] system will be extensive in the coming days." Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah said the alliance strategy would be to start with "weak targets" in Afghanistan's north and northeast. Below, alliance fighters scan the horizon for signs of Taliban activity. (Story, page 6.)

Prices for crude oil will be kept steady, at least until OPEC is able to assess the impact of the US-led assaults on Afghanistan, senior officials of the cartel said. But after a weekend emergency meeting in Vienna, there were hints that a 500,000 barrel-a-day production cut could be imposed if futures prices do not climb back into the $22 - to $28-a-barrel range. As of last Friday, the so-called "basket" of crude prices stood at $20.09, its 10th straight day below the target range.

The largest leftist rebel group in Colombia was granted the OK to continue occupying its huge southern enclave free of government interference for at least three more months. The decision by President Andres Pastrana gives the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) unrestricted access to the Switzerland-sized haven until Jan. 20. But Pastrana said he'd "terminate" the extension, FARC's ninth to date, if there was no progress in peace negotiations with his government. Pastrana had been expected to wait until today to issue his decision, but announced it Sunday night in a TV address to the nation.

At the rate of 33 feet per hour, salvage workers were raising the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk through the icy waters of the Barents Sea and were expected to begin towing it to a dry-dock as the Monitor went to press. The 18,000-ton vessel went to the bottom with 118 crewmen aboard Aug. 12, 2000, after two internal explosions ripped open its hull.

A collision between a small private plane and a Scandinavian Airlines jet that was taking off from Milan, Italy, killed at least 118 people, officials of the government's Transport Ministry said. The SAS plane was bound for Copenhagen, Denmark. The crash occurred in heavy fog, and reports said the airport ground radar system was not working at the time.

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