Pak Army geared to avert cross-border Afghan raids

Army`s top brass took the step following demands from local residents to deploy soldiers.

Islamabad: Pakistan has deployed regular
army troops along its border with Afghanistan in three
districts previously guarded by paramilitary forces following
a series of cross-border attacks by militants, the chief
military spokesman said on Tuesday.

Regular troops had been deployed along the Afghan border
in Chitral, Lower Dir and Upper Dir districts of
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, chief military spokesman Maj Gen
Athar Abbas told the media.

"The deployment is aimed at preventing terrorist attacks
from Afghan soil," he said.

The regular troops had taken up positions at forward
bases that were earlier manned by paramilitary troopers and
border police.

Reports said the army`s top brass took the step following
demands from local residents to deploy soldiers to prevent
attacks by militants based in Afghanistan.

Local residents said soldiers were seen moving towards
the border in Upper Dir yesterday.

Residents of Upper Dir said they feared a military
operation might be launched in the district.

Official sources rejected these reports, saying troops
were being deployed in the area to prevent militant attacks.

In recent weeks, Pakistani Taliban fighters based in
Afghanistan have carried out one attack in Lower Dir, two in
Upper Dir and one in Chitral.

Dozens of policemen and Levies militia personnel were
killed in these strikes.


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