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US declines to comment on raid inside Pakistan

September 04, 2008 11:52 IST

Senior Bush administration officials have refused to comment on the reported attack by the US troops in Pakistan's restive tribal belt but said both the countries are closely working in the war on terror.

"I don't have anything for you on Pakistan, except to say that obviously we are working very closely with the civilian government there," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images] said.

"And we're going to be in continued contact with the Pakistanis, as we both try to ... fight the terrorists, who are a threat not just to the US and to Afghanistan, but obviously to Pakistan, as well," Rice said.

At least 20 people, mostly women and children, were killed on Wednesday when US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan carried out a cross-border attack in Pakistan's restive tribal belt, prompting Islamabad [Images] to condemn it as a "provocation" and "gross violation" of its territory.

However, the state secretary said she was "relieved" that an apparent bid by terrorists on the life of Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani [Images] did not succeed.

State department spokesman Sean McCormack also refused to comment on the American raid inside Pakistan.

"I don't have any information for you... we have seen violence and attempts at violence in Pakistani politics. And it is certainly of concern to Pakistanis. We are pleased and relieved that the prime minister is unharmed," he said.

Gilani's car was fired at by unknown assailants near the garrison city of Rawalpindi while he was returning from an official visit to the eastern city of Lahore [Images] but no one was injured in the incident.

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