General Shawkat Sultan, spokesman for the Pakistani Army, told Aljazeera the men were killed after they launched a missile attack on the US military camp in Bamian, near the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

Sultan said the US troops notified Pakistani authorities of the attack and the Pakistani Army sent hundreds of soldiers to the area as a precautionary measure.

 

US pressure

 

The United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan all need to put more coordinated pressure on fighters along the rugged Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier, a senior Bush administration official said on Thursday.

 

"I don't think we know for sure where Osama bin Laden was," said the official, who briefed a small group of reporters on condition of anonymity. "If we did, he wouldn't be there for long."

 

The remote and mountainous region is popular with fighters because it is easy to cross from neighbouring Pakistan and provides excellent cover.

 

Need to do more

 

"In terms of that border area, obviously the Afghans need to do more, we need to do more and the Pakistanis need to do more and we need to do it in a coordinated way," the official said.

 

Washington has been looking for
Bin Laden for nearly four  years

"The Pakistanis need to put pressure on their side of the border at the same time we and the Afghans are putting pressure on the Afghan side of the border and hopefully you catch some bad guys in the middle."

 

For almost four years, Washington has been on the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

 

A month later, the US military invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban who had supported Bin Laden and given him safe haven.

 

War widening

 

The increase in fighting has raised concern that the Afghan war might be widening.

 

US and Afghan officials have cautioned that the situation could get worse before the elections with foreign fighters entering the country to disrupt the polls.