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US, Afghan, Pakistan Forces to Hold Joint Military Exercise


Military leaders from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States met Wednesday outside the Pakistani capital

Senior military officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States have held regular regional meetings to improve coordination in the war on terror.

The latest meeting took place amid growing criticism that a lack of coordination between Afghan and Pakistani forces has led to increased insurgent attacks on both sides of the border.

Pakistan spokesman General Shaukat Sultan says that for the first time all three countries are planning to hold joint military exercises next month as part of efforts to enhance regional anti-terror cooperation.

"They're going to have exercises on air assault elements and some kind of combat mission that are part of the war on terror," he said.

The general would not say where the exercises will be held or how many forces will participate.

General Sultan says a key concern is the growing use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Roadside bombs have killed or wounded dozens of people in the last few months. On Tuesday an IED injured at least at two U.S. soldiers in southern Afghanistan.

The attacks are part of a recent surge in militant activity, sparking concerns that the pro-Taleban forces may be gaining ground, particularly in areas near the Pakistani border.

The U.S.-led coalition has also intensified its own counter-insurgency efforts and has launched a large-scale offensive targeting militants in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar.

Pakistan said Tuesday that it has deployed extra troops across the border to keep insurgents from escaping the U.S.-led offensive.

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