RealNews

Pakistan Intensifying Hunt for Al Qaeda, U.S. General Says

In northwestern territories of Pakistan where U.S. authorities suspect Osama bin Laden and members of his al Qaeda network may be hiding, Pakistani forces have begun confronting tribal leaders, in some cases threatening the destruction of homes to enlist help, the senior U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said yesterday. Pakistan’s past reluctance to take action in the territories, which have a tradition of semiautonomous rule under strong tribal chiefs, had frustrated U.S. authorities in their campaign against al Qaeda. There have been reports before of increased Pakistani military action, though few indications of solid success. But Army Lt. Gen. David Barno, who commands about 11,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, said yesterday that the latest Pakistani efforts, which began in the past two months, “show the greatest promise we have seen in a while” of rooting out al Qaeda operatives. Although he provided few details, Barno called some of the new Pakistani measures “quite innovative.” He said he had seen reports of Pakistani forces trying, in some instances, to compel the cooperation of local leaders by threatening to destroy homes and by taking other steps “of that nature.” Full Story

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