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US Gives Eight Attack Helicopters to Pakistan

The United States has given Pakistan eight attack helicopters, bolstering the key U.S. ally's ability to combat Taleban and al-Qaida militants.

In a hand-over ceremony Friday, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said the helicopters are important weapons in the "common fight" against terrorism.

He said the handover demonstrated the long-term commitment of the United States to Washington's strategic partnership with Islamabad.

The eight Cobra attack helicopters are equipped for night flying, and are part of a $50 million foreign military aid program to Pakistan.

The Bush administration, NATO-led forces in Afghanistan and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have all urged Pakistan to do more to stop insurgents from using Pakistan's remote border areas to launch insurgent attacks in Afghanistan.

On Thursday, the United States gave thousands of weapons and hundreds of military vehicles to neighboring Afghanistan's army as the country braces for renewed fighting with Taleban insurgents.

Taleban forces have historically renewed attacks when temperatures warm and Afghanistan's mountain snows melt.

The Bush administration is also asking the U.S. Congress for an additional $10.6 billion to help strengthen Afghan security forces.