The Pakistan army denied on Monday that it fired hundreds of rockets into two eastern Afghan provinces over the past three weeks, Express 24/7 reported.
Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said that no rounds have been intentionally fired into Afghanistan.
He said it is possible that a few rounds may have accidentally fallen into Afghanistan when security forces targeted militants carrying out cross-border attacks into Pakistan.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday that hundreds of rockets landed on Afghan soil from Pakistan.
The Pakistani spokesman claimed today that there have been five major attacks on border posts in the last month by groups of up to 300 militants who crossed into the country from Afghanistan. He said 55 paramilitary soldiers and tribal police have been killed in the attacks and 80 others injured.
Updated from print edition (below)
Pakistan firing rockets into Afghanistan: Karzai
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday accused Pakistan of firing 470 rockets into the country’s two eastern provinces over the past three weeks, which Afghan officials said killed 36 people, including 12 children, an Associated Press report said.
The attacks came in Kunar and Nangrahar provinces where Nato forces have withdrawn and where “Pakistani Taliban” moved in behind fleeing civilians, AP quoted Afghan border officials as saying.
Karzai said he discussed the rocket barrage with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zadari during an anti-terrorism conference in Tehran on Saturday, the same day the Afghan defence ministry spokesman warned that Afghanistan would “defend itself”.
Afghan security officials said joint Nato and Afghan border units have fired back into Pakistan, but Nato and Pakistan military officials denied any knowledge of border skirmishes.
“The government of Pakistan should understand that there will be a reaction for killing Afghan citizens,” the report quoted Afghan government spokesperson Mohammad Zahir Azimi as saying.
The Afghan president said he also had discussed the border attack with US Army Gen David H Petraeus, the Nato commander in Afghanistan, and US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry during his regular national security council meeting on Sunday.
Azimi said the Afghan defence ministry “asks the president of Pakistan to stop the artillery firing and compensate the losses caused.”
Afghan border police spokesman Edris Mohmand, who reported 36 Afghans killed by the rockets, including 12 children, said 2,000 families have fled districts threatened by the barrage, including Asmar and Nangalam in Kunar, and Goshta districts in Nangrahar.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2011.