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'Expanding' LeT no longer solely focused on India, South Asia: US general

April 13, 2011 - Washington

A top US general has expressed concerns about the expanding reach of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), warning that the militant group had expanded its tentacles outside South Asia.

Admiral Robert Willard, head of the US Pacific Command, told a Senate hearing on Tuesday that America was actively working with South Asian governments- including Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and India- to contain LeT.

But he cautioned that the group was active elsewhere as well.

"Unquestionably, they have spread their influence internationally and are no longer solely focused in South Asia and on India," The News quoted Admiral Willard, as telling the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The United States has evidence of LeT's presence in Europe and the broader Asia-Pacific region, he added.

The terrorist organisation has fielded militants in Canada and the United States in the past, although India continues to be LeT's main target.

Admiral Willard noted that the group had declared holy war against the US and renewed longstanding concerns in Washington about attacks by LeT militants against US forces in Afghanistan.

"The discussion regarding the government of Pakistan's relationship to LeT is a very sensitive one," Admiral Willard pointed out.


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