Wednesday, 14 September 2011

US vows action against Haqqani network in Pakistan

 Updated at: 0751 PST,  Thursday, September 15, 2011
US vows action against Haqqani network in Pakistan SAN FRANCISCO: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday warned the United States would retaliate against insurgents based in Pakistan blamed for staging a dramatic attack in the Afghan capital.

A day after a 19-hour assault staged near the US embassy and NATO headquarters, Panetta expressed frustration that the Pakistani government has so far failed to crack down on Haqqani network militants that Washington suspects carried out Tuesday's attack.

"Time and again we've urged the Pakistanis to exercise their influence over these kinds of attacks from the Haqqanis and we've made very little progress in that area," Panetta told reporters aboard his plane before landing in San Francisco.

"I'm not going to talk about how we're going to respond. I'll just let you know that we're not going to allow these kinds of attacks to go on," he said.

Panetta's tough words come amid strained relations with Islamabad following the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2, a raid that Panetta oversaw while he was CIA director.

US officials have for years demanded Islamabad move against the Haqqani network, which operates in part out of sanctuaries inside Pakistan's borders.

Before the Kabul attack, the US military blamed the Haqqani militants for a truck bombing on Saturday against a NATO base in Wardak province that wounded 77 American troops.

"I'm very concerned about the Haqqani attacks because, number one, they're killing people, they're killing our forces. "But number two, they escape back into what is a safe haven in Pakistan. And that's unacceptable. So the message they need to know is that we're going to do everything we can to defend our forces." (AFP)

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