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Obama gets Afghan funds; plays down leak

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Obama gets Afghan funds; plays down leak


The US Congress has approved funds to pay for his troop increase in Afghanistan.

But President Barack Obama is seeking to limit damage from the leak of tens of thousands of classified reports on the war, playing down what is in them.

“While I am concerned about the disclosure of sensitive information from the battlefield that could potentially jeopardise individuals or operations, the fact is these documents don’t reveal any issues that haven’t already informed our public debate on Afghanistan,” Obama told reporters.

The documents, made public by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, paint a grim picture of the US-led conflict.

They detail alleged attempts to cover-up civilian deaths and concerns that Pakistan secretly aided the Taliban.

In Kabul, questions are being asked about the huge
amounts in cash aid and military assistance that Washington has given to Pakistan over the years.

“It is really not justifiable for the Afghan people that you give a country 11 billion dollars or more to help its reconstruction or strengthen its security or defensive forces, but on the other hand, those very forces train terrorism,” said Afghan National Security Advisor, Rangeen Dadfar Spanta.

The US sees Pakistan and its army as key players in the struggle against militant Islamist groups. While Islamabad has had longstanding ties to the Taliban, it denies any involvement in the insurgency.

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