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    Plot to kill Karzai was real, credible: US

    WASHINGTON (PAN): The plot to kill President Hamid Karzai, unearthed by the Afghan intelligence agency, was real and credible, a US official has said.

    "Our understanding is that the threat against President Karzai was real, was credible, but it was only in the early stages of planning," a State Department spokesperson said.

    Victoria Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference on Thursday: "We want to give a shout-out to the great work done by Afghan detectives, who work tirelessly in service to their country and who worked tirelessly on this case."

    Praising the work done by the Directorate of National Intelligence, the spokeswoman said the United States did play a protection role in Afghanistan and coordinated closely with the Afghans on such issues.

    Obviously, Nuland added, it was also a part of their larger mission of counterterrorism in Afghanistan, where a string of high-profile assassinations have taken place in recent months.

    In response to a query, she said the United States would continue to engage Pakistan at all levels.  Marc Grossman, US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, would visit Islamabad over the weekend.

    The visit was aimed to discuss Pakistan-US relations and the overall security situation in the region, Nuland said, expressing concern over anti-Americanism in the nuclear-capable South Asian ally.