US cutting back troops in Pakistan

Filed on May 26, 2011

WASHINGTON The US military said on Wednesday it has begun pulling out some American troops from Pakistan after Islamabad requested a smaller presence, amid tensions over a US raid against Osama bin Laden.

“We were recently (within past 2 weeks) notified in writing that the government of Pakistan wished for the US to reduce its footprint in Pakistan. Accordingly, we have begun those reductions,” spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said in an email to reporters.

There are more than 200 US military personnel in Pakistan serving mostly as trainers as part of a long-running effort to counter Al Qaeda and militants.

But the uneasy relationship between Pakistan and the United States has come under severe strain following a unilateral raid by US commandos that killed bin Laden on May 2 in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, home to a military academy.

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