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Al Qaeda, Taliban to Pakistan militants: Help us

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — Pakistani Islamic militant commanders said prominent al Qaeda and Afghan Taliban fighters have asked them to set aside differences and step up support for the battle against U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Taliban commanders said the request came during two meetings in Pakistan's tribal region in November and December.

They said Monday that the senior al Qaeda commander Abu Yahya al-Libi attended both meetings, as did Sirajuddin Haqqani, the de-facto head of the most feared militant group in Afghanistan.

Pakistan's most prominent militant leaders, including Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud, also attended.

The commanders who described the meetings spoke on condition of anonymity because of their sensitivity.