US commander: More focus on Haqqani militants

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says allied and Afghan forces are putting a greater focus on going after the Haqqani militant network, which has threatened to disrupt the Afghan presidential elections in April.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said the more energized effort against the Haqqanis includes a U.S. move to "crank up the heat" more on the group's financing and freedom of movement. He says Haqqani militants have been more active in the past few months.

The Haqqani network is blamed for some of the most high-profile attacks in Afghanistan. The U.S. has repeatedly pressed Pakistani authorities to move more aggressively against the militants, who are based in North Waziristan and routinely cross the border to conduct attacks against U.S. and coalition troops.

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