With Afghanistan remaining the top priority for America, President Barack Obama has said that his administration has increased pressure on top Al-Qaeda leaders like Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri by targeting their ‘safe havens’.

“We are continuing to ramp up the pressure in Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama said in a radio interview broadcast live from the White House on Thursday. “The goal here is essentially to have a pincher where we are squeezing them on both sides, we are eliminating their allies, it’s making it more difficult for them to communicate, making it more difficult for them to operate safe havens, and over time what we hope to do is to flush them out,” he said.

The US president said the Pakistani army is for the first time “actually fighting” in a very aggressive way, and that’s how Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistan Taliban leader, was killed in a drone attack. “We are going to keep on putting pressure on them, and I know that it’s at great cost,” Mr. Obama said.

Stating that he has to sign letters to family members who have fallen and a lot more are falling in Afghanistan than in Iraq, Mr. Obama said: “As a consequence, we have got to make sure that we are really focused on finishing the job in Afghanistan, but it’s going to take some time.”

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