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US halts Pakistani aid over Bin Laden fallout

The USA is halting hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid for Pakistan, a key ally in the fight against Islamic terrorism, amid the bitter fallout from the unauthorised raid to kill Osama bin Laden in May.

Washington has poured billions of dollars into Pakistan since September 11 to help its military tackle al-Qa'ida and Taliban groups along the border with Afghanistan. However, the relationship had soured recently after the secret US raid on its soil to assasinate Bin Laden.

Bill Daley, the White House Chief of Staff, said yesterday: "Until we get through these difficulties, we will hold back some of the money that the American taxpayers have committed to give them."

Earlier, senior American officials told the 'New York Times' that $800m (€560m) in military aid, more than a third of the $2bn (€1.4bn) in annual American security assistance to Pakistan, could be affected. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent