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Gilani: Pakistan in 'Defining Phase' of Terror Fight

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says his country is entering a "defining phase" in the fight against terrorism.

Gilani met Wednesday with military and intelligence leaders to discuss security measures after a string of Taliban attacks against Pakistani security forces.

In a statement after the meeting, Gilani said security, defense and law-enforcement agencies will be authorized to use "all means necessary" to eliminate terrorists.  He also said the government will ensure terrorist hideouts will be destroyed.

The meeting Wednesday followed a suicide bombing at a police building in the northwestern city of Peshawar that killed at least eight people.  The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility, saying it was the latest attack in retaliation for the U.S. killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan

Taliban militants also laid siege to a naval base in the southern port city of Karachi on Monday, killing 10 security personnel and destroying two U.S.-supplied surveillance aircraft.

Earlier this month, Taliban militants killed two policeman in an attack on a security checkpoint near Peshawar, and claimed responsibility for a pair of suicide bombings that killed at least 80 people in Khyber-Pakhtunkwha province.

The Pakistani military has launched offensives in several areas of the country's northwest in an effort to dismantle and disrupt militant groups.  The military efforts have mainly targeted domestic Taliban elements, which have killed thousands of Pakistanis in terror attacks across the country.

The United States has said that Islamabad needs to expand its fight to defeating Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants in the area.

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