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Afghans accuse Pakistan over fresh border shelling

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, September 25, 2011 10:18 EDT
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ASADABAD, Afghanistan — Pakistani security forces have fired hundreds of rockets into Afghanistan in recent days, killing a child and forcing hundreds to flee their homes, Afghan officials said on Sunday.

Fazilullah Wahidy, governor of the northeastern province of Kunar where the shelling happened, told AFP: “The shells were fired directly from Pakistani military posts and garrisons on that side of the border.”

He said at least one boy was killed in the attacks.

Interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui did not specify who was behind the cross-border shelling but added: “We call on Pakistan, whoever is behind the attacks, to prevent it immediately.”

He said more than 340 rockets had been fired into Afghanistan over the past four days, mostly landing in villages and farmland in the province of Kunar.

Two mosques and dozens of houses had been damaged while about 50 families had to flee their homes, Siddiqui added.

Cross-border shelling incidents frequently cause tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The border area between the two countries is seen as highly dangerous and a sanctuary for militants who launch attacks in Afghanistan.

In June, Afghanistan warned that cross-border attacks could threaten “improving trust and cooperation” between the neighbours unless Pakistan addressed the issue.

Pakistan denies any official involvement in the incidents.

The latest shelling came shortly after the United States called on Pakistan to “break any link they have” with militants from the Haqqani militant network in border districts.

In response, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani rejected claims of Pakistani complicity with the Haqqanis and said that US policy on Afghanistan was in “disarray.”

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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