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Pakistan Ordered Departure of One Fifth of US Special Forces Trainers

Posted by on Saturday, May 21, 2011, 11:16
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Pakistan has ordered the departure of up to 20 percent of the roughly 150 U.S. Special Operations forces trainers in that country in the wake of a series of clashes between the two governments, a U.S. military official said.

US Special Forces Trainers
US Special Forces Trainers

According to a US daily, between 25 and 30 trainers were โ€œtold to leaveโ€ in the weeks before the U.S. commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden this month, apparently in response to an earlier incident involving a CIA employee who shot and killed two Pakistanis in Lahore, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive relationship.

Pakistan had threatened to reduce the U.S. presence there after grudgingly releasing the employee, Raymond Davis, in March.

Since the al-Qaeda leader was fatally shot in his hideout in Abbottabad, relations have become even more frayed. The Obama administration has asked pointed questions about bin Ladenโ€™s support system in Pakistan, and the Pakistanis assert that U.S. raiders violated their sovereignty.

Marc Grossman, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, met with military and government officials in the Pakistani capital this week as the administration moved to reestablish the partnership with one of its key counterterrorism allies even as it continued to demand answers about bin Laden.

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