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Bush vows to retaliate with "every necessary weapon of war"

President Bush addressed a Joint Session of Congress in Washington on Thursday

(Keystone)

President George W. Bush has vowed to use "every necessary weapon of war" to retaliate for the September 11 attacks and has warned governments that "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

During his presidential address, Bush stressed that this was not just an attack on the United States, but that it was "the world's fight. " People from 80 countries were killed in the attacks, he said.

"We will direct every resource at our command - every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence and every necessary weapon of war - to the disruption and defeat of the global terror network," Bush said.

Many US allies have pledged to do what they can to help it win the war against terrorism, including the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who was visiting New York and Washington. "This is a struggle that concerns us all, the whole of the democratic and civilised free world," he said, pledging British support and solidarity.

Bush issued an ultimatum to Afghanistan's ruling Taliban to deliver Washington's prime suspect, Osama bin Laden, saying they risked the same punishment as those they are sheltering.

The Taliban on Thursday asked bin Laden to leave the country, although it said it could not force him to leave.

"We cannot force him to leave Afghanistan," the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, told the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press.

Death toll rises

Meanwhile, the toll of those missing from last week's attack on the World Trade Center rose to 6,333 on Thursday, with 241 people confirmed dead.

City officials said there is little hope of pulling anyone alive from the 1.2 million tonnes of twisted steel and smoking rubble. No one has been found alive since September 12, the day after the attack.

The attack on the Pentagon left 188 people dead or missing, including 64 on board the hijacked jetliners. Forty-four people are confirmed dead from the crash of a fourth hijacked plane in Pennsylvania.

swissinfo with agencies

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