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American troops mass near Pakistani border

Monday October 17, 2011 05:17:16 PM, IANS

Islamabad: American troops in Afghanistan are massing along the border with Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region where insurgents hold sway, a tribal elder said Monday.

Malik Muhammad Mumtaz told Xinhua via phone from the region that travellers had seen movement of US troops in Afghanistan near the border areas.

Afghan nationals, who routinely travel to North Waziristan for trade, said they had seen US fighter aircraft flying over the border region, the elder said.

TV channels also reported that the US troops clamped curfew in some areas in Afghanistan to restrict movement of the people.

Geo television said that American forces in the border Khost province have sealed the border with Pakistan.

The US forces have moved heavy weapons, including artillery, to the Pakistani border region, the reports said.

The motive behind the troop movements were not clear but it comes amid tension between Islamabad and Washington over the Haqqani network, which the US says is launching attacks from North Waziristan across the border into Afghanistan.

US drones have stepped up strikes in Waziristan region. At least four US strikes in three days have killed nearly 10 people, including three Egyptians who were thought to be linked to Haqqani network.

US officials say that members of the Haqqani network operate from North Waziristan tribal region and plan cross-border attacks there into Afghanistan.

The US is asking Pakistan to act against the Haqqani network, blamed for last month's attack on the US embassy in Kabul that killed 10 Afghan security men.

Barrack Obama has decided to go all-out against the Haqqani network.

"The Obama administration has launched the opening salvos of a new, more aggressive approach towards an Afghan insurgent group it asserts is supported by Pakistan's government," the Washington Post reported quoting senior US administration officials.

The report quotes officials as saying that Obama had gradually lost faith in Pakistan and its weak civilian leadership.





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