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Afghanistan's Border Security

Afghanistan’s security forces say they have arrested Abdul Hagh Haji Gulroz, known as Mohammad Hanif, a spokesman for Taleban insurgents.

Sayed Ansari, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s intelligence service, says Hanif was captured in Towr Kham in Nangarhar province soon after crossing the border from Pakistan. Hanif was one of two men appointed to replace Taleban spokesman Latifullah Hakimi, who was arrested by Pakistani authorities in Quetta in October 2005.

In Pakistan, as many as thirty al-Qaida terrorists were killed in a series of air strikes by Pakistan’s military, according to army spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan. He says the attacks targeted terrorist camps in the tribal area of South Waziristan:

“We had information about the presence of twenty-five to thirty foreign terrorists and their local facilitators. The foreign terrorists were associated with al-Qaida.”

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher met with Afghan and Pakistani government officials to encourage cooperation in stopping cross-border attacks by Taleban insurgents and their al-Qaida allies. “What I have found in my conversations in Kabul, as well as my conversations [in Islamabad], is that there is a strong desire on both sides to continue those discussions, to resolve the issues, and to move forward,” said Mr. Boucher.

Mr. Boucher also said that securing Afghanistan’s border would require more than military action. He said border areas need to receive the benefits of good governance, including a sound justice system, better schools, new roads, and economic development. “The United States," he said, "can support efforts with more reconstruction, more security, more opportunity for people on the Afghan side, and we can support Pakistan’s efforts to provide more opportunities, more economic opportunity in better governance and more security for people on the Pakistani side."

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Boucher says terrorist groups operating across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border “are a threat to Pakistan, a threat to Afghanistan, a threat to all of us. And all of us,” he said, “need to work together to stop them.”

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.