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Sunday, August 21, 2005
  Pakistan continues to play both sides against the middle
US fury at wild-west militants who flee back to Pakistan - World - smh.com.au: "It should have been a slam dunk. In Afghanistan's eastern border region, US troops say they photographed Taliban fighters firing a rocket-launcher at them from the safety of the Pakistani side - within sight of a Pakistani military observation post.

But a frustrated US military official in Kabul explains: 'We thought we had them.

'But when we showed the pictures in Islamabad they said, 'We saw nothing.' It's the same when we call on our direct communications lines to say we're chasing the Taliban over the border - they see us coming and they refuse to pick up the phone,' he said, speaking anonymously.

Islamabad's failure to stem the rising flood of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters on deadly cross-border forays from Pakistan's wild west has sapped US hopes of defeating the infiltrators any time soon. And it has reduced relations between Islamabad and Kabul to an icy low.

More than 700 Afghans and 45 Americans have died as border raids intensified since the northern winter. This is all the more puzzling because Pakistan says it has sent 74,000 troops to the border region to rein them in."
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