Afghans accuse Pakistan over fresh border shelling

Last Updated: Sunday, September 25, 2011 - 12:59

Kabul: Afghan authorities alleged that hundreds of rockets had been fired into Afghanistan from Pakistan in recent days, killing a child and forcing hundreds to flee their homes.

Interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui on Sunday 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 that 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.

Fazilullah Wahidy, the Kunar provincial governor, separately told AFP that at least one boy had been killed in the attacks.

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 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.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, September 25, 2011 - 12:59

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