Militants attack border villages: Pakistani police

Such cross-border attacks have raised tensions between Kabul and Islamabad.

Peshawar: Hundreds of militants crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan on Wednesday and attacked two border villages, triggering a shootout with a local militia, police said.

It was the latest in a spate of such cross-border attacks, which have raised tensions between Kabul and Islamabad and undermined efforts on both sides to crack down on al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Pakistan has complained that militants coming from Afghan bases have killed at least 55 members of the security forces and tribal police over the last month. Afghan officials have complained that Pakistan has launched hundreds of rockets into eastern Afghanistan since May, killing at least 40 people.

There was no immediate word on casualties from the latest attack in the villages of Nusrat Darrah and Saro Kalley in the Upper Dir district.

Paramilitary troops and police were sent to the area to help armed tribesmen trying to fend off the insurgents, local police official Gul Fazal Khan said.

Information from the area is difficult to verify independently because it is remote and dangerous.

Pakistan has pressed Afghanistan to do more to control its side of the border and prevent insurgent infiltration. It also blames the US for the recent attacks since many American forces pulled out of Afghanistan`s eastern Kunar province over the last year to focus on more populated areas.

The Pakistani Army denies it has intentionally fired rockets into Afghanistan, but acknowledges that several rounds fired at militants conducting cross-border attacks may have landed over the border.

Bureau Report

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