Taliban in Pak, Afghan might leave for safer areas: Pentagon | world | Hindustan Times
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Taliban in Pak, Afghan might leave for safer areas: Pentagon

world Updated: Jun 17, 2009 12:48 IST

The anti-Taliban military offensive in Pakistan coupled with consistent action against them by US-led forces in Afghanistan has brought the militants under increased pressure and might prompt them to leave for 'safer areas' like Somalia, the Pentagon has said.

"As we have increased our operational tempo in Afghanistan and as there are additional US and coalition forces flowing into Afghanistan, there is increased pressure put on the Taliban and al Qaeda," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters.

He said while historically pressure in Afghanistan has led to the militants running across the border into the "safe haven" of Pakistan.

"... But because we are now seeing an increased operational tempo from Pakistani military as well, there is now pressure on both sides, from the east and the west, on those militants in that former safe haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border," Morrell said.

He said it could be possible that the pressure might lead them to leave that area and go to "another ungoverned or less-than-optimally governed space".

"And sadly, I think Somalia would fit that bill," Morell said.