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Published: Monday, August 13, 2012, 2:34 p.m.

Panetta: Pakistan military plans to open new front

WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the Pakistani military has indicated that it plans to begin combat operations soon in a tribal area near the Afghan border that is a haven for al-Qaida-affiliated Haqqani (hah-KAH'-nee) militants.
Speaking to The Associated Press in his Pentagon office on Monday, Panetta said Pakistan's military chief gave word of the planned operation in recent conversations with the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen.
Panetta said he did not know when the Pakistani operation would start, but he said he understands it will be in the "near future," and that the main target will be the Pakistani Taliban, rather than the Haqqani network.
Haqqani leaders fled to Pakistan's North Waziristan region from their homeland in eastern Afghanistan following the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

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