Afghans protest Pak cross-border attacks

Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets Monday chanting "death to Pakistani invaders" to protest against cross-border attacks that they claim have killed dozens of people.

Jalalabad: Hundreds of Afghans
took to the streets Monday chanting "death to Pakistani invaders" to protest against cross-border attacks that they claim have killed dozens of people.

In recent weeks tensions have sharply risen on the border
that runs alongside the restive Afghan provinces of Kunar and
Nangarhar, which villagers say have been bombarded with
hundreds of rocket attacks.

Pakistan says its security forces may have fired a few
accidental rounds into Afghanistan while pursuing militants.
It also says that insurgents from Afghanistan have crossed the
border to attack security checkpoints.

About 500 people rallied in eastern Jalalabad city,
capital of Nangarhar province, carrying banners and chanting "Death to the Pakistani invaders. We condemn the Pakistani military invasion of our country."

Police installed barricades along the road leading to the
Pakistani consulate, where the protesters appeared to be
heading.

The escalating border dispute has badly hit relations
between Afghanistan and Pakistan at a key juncture in efforts
to find a political solution to a decade of conflict in
Afghanistan.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told Pakistan`s army
chief Ashfaq Kayani the attacks must stop, while the
Pakistanis summoned the Afghan ambassador and Pakistani Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has complained back to Karzai.

On Thursday, military officials from Pakistan and
Afghanistan met in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar
and agreed to hold more high-level talks and meetings between
commanders on the border to defuse the row.

Western and Afghan officials see assistance from Pakistan
as crucial to efforts to open up a communication channel with
the Taliban amid early stage contacts over peace talks.

PTI

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