US defense chief says Karzai should thank allies

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Associated Press

Posted on October 5, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 6 at 12:35 AM

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says Afghan President Hamid Karzai should say thank you now and then to the allied military forces that are fighting and dying in Afghanistan, rather than criticizing them.

Panetta on Friday was responding to Karzai's recent complaints that the U.S. is failing to go after militants based in Pakistan, and instead is concentrating on the insurgents in Afghanistan.

The uncharacteristic shot from Panetta comes as tensions between the two countries have escalated over the increase in attacks in which Afghan security force members or insurgents dressed in their uniforms turn their guns on coalition troops.

Panetta's sharp retort comes just days before he and other NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels to discuss the war and the road ahead.

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