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WASHINGTON – Flanked by the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, President Barack Obama expressed deep U.S. regret Wednesday for civilian casualties in a deadly incident this week in western Afghanistan, promising "every effort" to avoid recurrences in the war against a rising Taliban insurgency. Obama had a more upbeat and determined tone as he lauded "unprecedented cooperation" between the two neighbors in fighting Taliban and other extremist threats. But he cautioned that success will not come quickly. "Along the border, where insurgents often move freely, we must work together with a renewed sense of partnership to share intelligence and to coordinate our efforts to isolate, target, and take out our common enemy," Obama said after a day of meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.
Jones said Obama commented "with great sympathy" and expressed regret for the loss of innocent life. Earlier, before her meetings with Karzai and Zardari at the State Department, Clinton said the U.S. "deeply, deeply" regrets the losses. Both Obama and Clinton stopped short of accepting U.S. blame for the deaths.