US: Brutality erodes Pakistani militants’ support

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KABUL (AP) — The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan says he thinks the brutality of extremist attacks will cost the militants public support in northwest Pakistan.

Richard Holbrooke told reporters Saturday in Kabul that the ruthlessness of militants like Hakimullah Mehsud is beginning to “backfire” on the extremist network’s operation in the Swat valley, which Pakistani soldiers wrested from the Taliban earlier this year.

Holbrooke, who visited the Swat valley a few days ago, says the U.S. must mobilize international support to rebuild the area.

Holbrooke says he does not know if Mehsud was killed in a U.S. missile strike Thursday, but that if he is still alive, he is one of the “most vicious” people alive.