US officials expect stiffer Pakistani resolve in wake of Taliban attack

The United States offered further counterterrorism help to Pakistan on Tuesday after a deadly Taliban attack on a school, and U.S. officials said privately they expect stronger Pakistani resolve in fighting the insurgents.
President Barack Obama said the raid, which killed at least 132 students and nine staff at a military-run high school in the city of Peshawar, was an act of "depravity" and he promised that Washington would back Pakistan against the militants.
But the raid underscores regional instability at a time when the United States is preparing to withdraw most of its troops by year-end from neighboring Afghanistan, where attacks have intensified by Afghan Taliban fighters who share the radical Islamist ideology of their Pakistani brethren.
"We stand with the people of Pakistan and reiterate the commitment of the United States to support the government in its efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and to promote peace and stability in the region," Obama said.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the United States was offering counterterrorism assistance to Pakistan but declined to provide specifics.
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