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The Mideast

Clinton Presses Pakistan to Help Fight Haqqani Insurgent Group


Sept. 14: A military helicopter belonging to coalition forces flies around a building during a gun battle with Taliban militants in Kabul, Afghanistan. The 20-hour insurgent attack in the heart of Kabul ended Wednesday morning after a final volley of helicopter gunfire as Afghan police ferreted out and killed the last few assailants who had taken over a half-built downtown building to fire on the nearby U.S. Embassy and NATO compounds. (AP)

The Obama administration is pressing Pakistan to help the U.S. fight the Haqqani insurgent network after last week's attacks on the American embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.

U.S. officials say Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told her Pakistani counterpart, Hina Rabbani Khar, that the Taliban and Al Qaeda-affiliated militants must be dealt with. They say Khar agreed with Clinton that the Haqqani network was a threat to Americans and Pakistanis alike.

The officials spoke about the private meeting on condition of anonymity.

Clinton met Khar on Sunday in New York, a day after the U.S. ambassador to Islamabad cited evidence linking the network to the Pakistani government. The charge risked raising tensions in the anti-terror alliance.

The officials said Clinton and Khar's three-and-a-half-hour meeting started and ended with counterterrorism.

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan said Wednesday the Pakistani-based Haqqani network is behind the coordinated attack against the American Embassy and NATO headquarters in the heart of Kabul.

Ambassador Ryan Crocker says the attack, which ended on Wednesday morning after a 20-hour gunbattle, will not affect the transfer of security responsibilities from the U.S.-led military coalition to the Afghan security forces.

Crocker says it's in the long-term interest of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the international community to bring the group under control, as well as other militants who retain safe havens across the border in Pakistan.