Pakistan moves troops toward Indian border
Pakistan began moving thousands of troops to the Indian border Friday, intelligence officials said, sharply raising tensions triggered by the Mumbai terror attacks.
India is blaming Pakistani-based militants for last month's siege on its financial capital, which killed 164 people and has provoked an increasingly bitter war of words between nuclear-armed neighbors that have fought three wars in 60 years.
(enlarge photo) Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers keep vigil at the western sector of India-Pakistan international border at Ranjitpura village, 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Bikaner, Rajasthan state, India, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. Pakistan began moving thousands of troops away from the Afghan border toward India on Friday amid tensions following the Mumbai attacks, intelligence officials said. (AP Photo/ Vinay Joshi)
The troops headed to the Indian border were being diverted away from tribal areas near Afghanistan, officials said, and the move was expected to frustrate the United States which has been pushing Pakistan to step up its fight against al-Qaida and Taliban militants near the Afghan border.
Two intelligence officials said the army's 14th Division was being redeployed to the towns of Kasur and Sialkot, close to the Indian border. They said some 20,000 troops were on the move. Earlier Friday, a security official said that all troop leave had been canceled.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
A spokesman for India's Defense Ministry offered no immediate response.
Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Friday with the chiefs of the army, navy and air force to discuss "the prevailing security situation," according to an official statement.
An Associated Press reporter in Dera Ismail Khan, a district that borders Pakistan's militant-infested South Waziristan tribal area, said he saw around 40 trucks loaded with soldiers heading away from the Afghan border.
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