WASHINGTON - An American official has confirmed reports that the CIA is running an all-Afghan paramilitary group in Afghanistan that has been hunting al-Qaeda, Taliban, and other militant targets for the agency. The official, who was not named in media reports, said the 3,000-strong covert force was set up in 2002 to capture targets for CIA interrogation. Its members are used for surveillance and long-range reconnaissance and some have trained at CIA facilities in the United States. The official said the force was well-trained and effective. Youre talking about one of the finest Afghan fighting forces, which has made major contributions to security and stability, the official maintained. The Counter terrorism Pursuit Teams were first revealed in a new book by Bob Woodward, Associate Editor at the Washington Post. Obamas Wars, which lays out deep divisions in the Obama administration over Afghanistan strategy, will be released Monday. According to that book, by the end of a 2009 strategy review, Obama concluded that the task in Afghanistan could not succeed without wiping out al Qaeda and Afghan Taliban havens operating with impunity in the border tribal areas of Pakistan, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. We need to make clear to people that the cancer is in Pakistan, Obama is quoted as saying in Woodwards book, the Post said. A CIA spokesman would not comment on the paramilitary force. But Pakistani officials refuted the claims that CIA-controlled forces are operating within Pakistan, according to press reports. Pakistan will never allow boots on its soil, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit was quoted as saying, referring to foreign troops. This is one of our red lines. A senior Pakistani military official added that there are 954 checkpoints along the border that are manned by Pakistani security forces. He said it would be next to impossible for a group of people to enter Pakistan to chase al Qaeda and Taliban militants. The official did not want to be identified because he is not authorised to speak to the media. Al Qaeda in Pakistan remains a lethal enemy for the United States, a counter terrorism official said this week. But with the help of allies, the US has been able to score lots of successes against the group, said the official, who also requested anonymity. That includes the success of US unmanned predator strikes in Pakistani regions along the border with Afghanistan.