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U.S. 'Will Defend Itself' From Attacks Staged From Pakistan

Militants launched their assault in Kabul from this building under construction. Washington has blamed the attack on the Pakistani-based Haqqani network.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has warned Pakistan that Washington will do everything it can to defend U.S. forces from militants launching attacks from Pakistan into Afghanistan.

His comments come after militants targeted the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters in a daring raid in the center of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Sixteen people were killed in the assault which lasted some 20 hours.

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, blamed the attack on the Haqqani network, a group based in Pakistan and allied with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

"Time and again we've urged the Pakistanis to exercise their influence over these kinds of attacks from the Haqqanis. And we have made very little progress in that area," Panetta told reporters.

U.S. officials also suspect the Haqqani network of orchestrating the September 10 truck bombing at a NATO outpost in Afghanistan's Wardak province that killed four civilians and wounded 77 U.S. troops.

The network's suspected hideouts in Pakistan have become major targets for CIA drone strikes.

compiled from Reuters reports

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