Pakistan must help US more against Al-Qaeda: Obama

WASHINGTON- Pakistan must cooperate more fully with the United States to help wipe out Al-Qaeda, US President Barack Obama said in excerpts of a weekend interview.
In the interview with CBS television, Obama said the tribal territories that straddle the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan were the "epicenter of the violent extremism directed against the West... and the United States."

US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama
"Ultimately, in order for us to eradicate the problem, to really go after Al-Qaeda... we are going to need more cooperation from Pakistan. There is no doubt about that," Obama said in excerpts released Friday, with the full interview to be shown on Sunday.
He was speaking as reports emerged that the United States unleashed on Tuesday a drone strike in northwest Pakistan, which a US official told AFP had killed a senior Al-Qaeda leader.
The person killed was an "upper-tier" figure in the Al-Qaeda network, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The raid was part of a growing bombing campaign by the United States against Al-Qaeda and Taliban figures in tribal areas of Pakistan, which have provoked public anger in Pakistan.
Islamabad is under increasing Western pressure to not only target Taliban groups attacking Pakistan, but also Al-Qaeda-linked fighters and the militants who cross over the border and target NATO-led troops in Afghanistan.
Washington and London have also pressed Pakistan to capture Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden -- believed to be in the rugged Afghan-Pakistan border area -- but the authorities deny he is on their soil.
The drone attack comes as the US administration prepares to send 30,000 reinforcements in neighboring Afghanistan to try to turn the tide against a growing Taliban insurgency, which uses sanctuaries in Pakistan.

Saturday, December 12th 2009

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