US mobilises warplanes

The US stepped up its military build-up on Saturday for an assault on Afghanistan, whose Taliban rulers are refusing to surrender Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the attack on America last week. Heavy B-l and B-52 bombers and 'Warthog' attack planes lumbered into the air from bases in the American heartland on their way to the Gulf and the Indian Ocean in the biggest US military mobilisation since the 1991 Gulf War. US defence officials said about a dozen more aircraft, including refuelling planes, would soon move to the Gulf and Indian Ocean — within range of Afghanistan — to join nearly 350 warplanes at land bases and on two aircraft carriers.

UAE cuts ties with Taliban

The United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic relations with the Taliban Government of Afghanistan on Saturday, leaving it recognised by only two nations, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The official Emirates News Agency quoted an unidentified Foreign Ministry official as saying that the Emirates had tried during the past few days to persuade the Taliban to comply with the UN Security Council resolution for it to hand over Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in last week's terror attacks in New York and Washington.

Forex reserves dip $77 m

The country's forex reserves, which have been rising steadily in the recent past, declined by $77 million for the week ended September 14, 2001. As per the figures released by the RBI, the reserves have dropped to $45,288 billion from $45,365 in the previous week. Forex dealers ascribed the dip in the reserves to possible RBI sales of dollars in the markets to support the rupee.