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US forces 'massing on Afghanistan-Pakistan border'

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US forces 'massing on Afghanistan-Pakistan border'
« on: Oct 19, 2011, 09:23:18 am »
 

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US forces 'massing on Afghanistan-Pakistan border'

US forces are massing on the Pakistan border in eastern Afghanistan amid reports of an imminent drone missile offensive against fighters from the feared Haqqani Network, a Taliban faction which operates from safe havens in Pakistan's North Waziristan Agency, Pakistan Army sources have confirmed.

By Dean Nelson, South Asia Editor and Javed Siddiq in Islamabad

2:19PM BST 18 Oct 2011

The scale of the American build-up, including helicopter gunships, heavy artillery and hundreds of American and Afghan troops, caused panic in north Waziristan where tribal militias who feared they could be targeted gathered in the capital Miranshah to coordinate their response.

Local officials in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) warned that Pakistan's armed forces would repel any incursion across the border by American forces, but military sources in Islamabad and Afghan officials suggested the build-up was part of a coordinated operation.

Relations between Washington and Islamabad have deteriorated dramatically in recent months as American officials increased pressure on Pakistan to launch an offensive against the Haqqani Network, which mounts attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan from bases in North Waziristan.

Islamabad has fiercely resisted American pressure, claiming its forces are overstretched and stating its priority is to fight Taliban factions which have declared war on Pakistan, rather than those, like the Haqqanis, who focus on cross-border attacks on Nato forces.

Last month Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently accused Pakistan's ISI intelligence service of plotting the attack on the US embassy in Kabul with Haqqani network fighters and claimed the militant group was a "veritable arm" of the ISI.

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8834040/US-forces-massing-on-Afghanistan-Pakistan-border.html
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