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Pak-Afghan border an ‘epicentre of terror’
Washington/ Islamabad, Oct 2 (IANS):
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Published on 2 Oct. 2010 10:29 PM IST
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The United States is focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan as their border area has become the “epicentre of terrorism in the world” with several terror groups developing global aspirations, says the top US military officer.
“Terror groups in the Middle East are seeking to expand their influence and operations beyond their borders to the rest of the world,” Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a speech at Texas A&M University Thursday.
He specifically mentioned Al Qaeda, as well as the Taliban entities that focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Pakistan-based terror organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
“The reason we’re focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan is that living in that border area are terrorists from various organizations ... and it’s become the epicentre of terrorism in the world,” Mullen said.
“Several of those organizations, in addition to Al Qaeda, now have global aspirations and are moving to a point of having global operational capacity,” he added, “and they threaten us very specifically - the United States, Western interests, our European friends.”
Keeping the pressure on the terrorist organizations now is critical, the admiral said, noting that such measures include improving governance, education and economics in countries whose young people are becoming part of such organizations.
“I don’t think we can kill our way through this,” Mullen said. “I think those conditions have to change and that’s a long-term challenge. That’s not going to happen overnight. But together with other countries -- responsible global powers -- we can make significant progress over time. That’s the long-term answer.”
Success in the Middle East is based on several components, one of which is training the Afghan national security forces to provide for their own security, he said.”
Nine killed in US drone strike in Pakistan
At least nine people were killed and four injured in a US surveillance plane attack Saturday in Pakistan’s tribal area bordering Afghanistan, a media report said.
Two drone planes fired at least four missiles at a house in Anzarkas village of Dattakhel area in North Waziristan, killing nine people, Geo News said quoting sources.
The report said that the US spy planes were still making low flights in the area.
According to DPA, security officials have confirmed three deaths but said the toll might increase if more people were trapped in the rubble of the house which was destroyed in the attack.
“So far three people have been confirmed dead and four others injured,” DPA quoted an intelligence official as saying. “The identity of those killed is not known yet.”
It was the first drone attack of this month, after the US military increased its missile strikes against alleged rebels in tribal areas with 22 attacks last month that killed more than 124 people.

 
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