Afghans flee shelling from Pakistan: official, witnesses

By AFP
Published: June 26, 2012
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Pakistan earlier accused Afghanistan of giving safe haven to militants who infiltrated the border to kill 13 Pakistani soldiers. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Pakistan earlier accused Afghanistan of giving safe haven to militants who infiltrated the border to kill 13 Pakistani soldiers. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

KUNAR: A barrage of cross-border artillery and rocket attacks from Pakistan have forced thousands of Afghan villagers to flee their homes, witnesses and officials in Afghanistan said Tuesday.

The shelling was reported in eastern Kunar province after Pakistan accused Afghanistan of giving safe haven to militants who infiltrated the border to kill 13 Pakistani soldiers.

“More than 500 families have been displaced in two districts of Dangam and Nari due to continued Pakistani rocket shelling in the past two weeks,” said Wasefullah Wasef, a spokesman for the provincial government in Kunar.

Afghan families are large and typically number seven to 10 people.

“The shelling has intensified after the recent incident in which some Pakistani soldiers were killed by Taliban militants,” Wasef told AFP.

Wasef said officials “believe” the rockets were fired by Pakistani troops, who are operating along the border against homegrown insurgents.

The Pakistani military was not immediately reachable for comment.

Locals in Dangam district told AFP that three residents, including a woman, were injured on Tuesday after rockets fired from Pakistan slammed into a home.

“Many people have already left their homes in the past two weeks. We have stayed, but we cannot venture out of our hiding places because of the continued shelling,” a local resident told AFP.

“We are poor people, we demand the government take action to protect us,” added another resident, Abdul Qader.

Pakistan said 13 soldiers were killed after militants crossed from Afghanistan into the northwestern district of Upper Dir, a key transit route that neighbours the Swat valley where Pakistan defeated a Taliban insurgency in 2009.

Six were killed in gunbattles on Sunday and another seven were beheaded after going missing, the military said.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Monday, Pakistan summoned the deputy Afghan ambassador in protest and to demand that Kabul “take appropriate measures” to stop incidents in the future.

Pakistan says rebels have regrouped in eastern Afghanistan.

Its troops have been fighting local Taliban for years but US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned that Washington is running out of patience over Pakistani havens for militants who attack Americans in Afghanistan.

Islamabad imposed a blockade, now in its seventh month, on overland NATO supplies into Afghanistan since US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border on November 26.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Someone
    Jun 26, 2012 - 7:31PM

    If you shelter terrorists, that is what you will get. Sending rockets is not enough, Pakistan should start air raids.

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  • Cautious
    Jun 26, 2012 - 7:33PM

    Blindly firing artillery into Afghanistan accomplishes what? Blow up some civilians, create further animosity with your so called “allies”, don’t kill a single bad guy and damage your already tenuous argument about sovereignty. If you know where the bad guys are just tell the American’s — they have more accurate weapons and love to blow up Taliban regardless of where they happen to live.

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  • Zaikam
    Jun 26, 2012 - 7:44PM

    @ Cautious: “If you know where the bad guys are just tell the American’s — they have more accurate weapons and love to blow up Taliban regardless of where they happen to live”. This has to be the most hilarious statement one could come across. Americans are as innocent as one can get, Raymond Davis was an innocent diplomat, salala Raid was just a mistake by innocent pilot, it was just a mere mistake by innocent americans that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for WMDs that never seem to have existed. Duh

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  • Jun 26, 2012 - 7:44PM

    @Cautious:
    u cant even secure the Green zone of kabul and u r talking about taking action against Taliban, in fact u r after Taliban but dont wana eliminate Tehreek-e-Taliban terrorists

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  • Saad BP
    Jun 26, 2012 - 7:46PM

    Pakistan’s act of pounding Afghan territory is justified, the same logic that is applied for drone attacks applies here….Cheers

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  • Jun 26, 2012 - 7:47PM

    @Cautious:
    ur mighty military is seeking a safe exit shamelessly and u r talking about taking action

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  • faraz
    Jun 26, 2012 - 7:50PM

    Afghanistan should remove the safe have; i support this bombing.

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  • MeGhauriYouPrithvi
    Jun 26, 2012 - 7:55PM

    @Cautious, Wrong on many levels, firstly Americans are not accurate and you can see that from their track record of bombing innocent people, one such “accurate” strike killed many innocent people not too long ago. Secondly, Americans act completely oblivious to TTP presence in Afghanistan, mianly because TTP is supported by Afghan government so telling them to attack anti Pakistan militants is futile. Pakistan has no option but to use artillery.

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  • BlackJack
    Jun 26, 2012 - 7:58PM

    All those who support the shelling do not understand the difference between this and drone attacks. The difference is that if those families had not moved out, more people would have died in the past 2 weeks (all innocent) in those villages than have died (including militants) in the last 10 years in drone strikes.

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  • Omer
    Jun 26, 2012 - 8:19PM

    India and Afghanistan send terrorists in Pakistan, Pakistan retaliates, then India does tit for tat. This is vicious cycle, and with so much distrust no way of coming out of it.

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  • Omer
    Jun 26, 2012 - 8:30PM

    Killing civilians is not going to solve anything. Yes, if you have the location of terrorists, then fine. Otherwise you only create more terrorists.

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  • india for peace
    Jun 26, 2012 - 8:42PM

    faraz
    If u support bombing then drones attack is justified…………then why pakistan strikes/shouting against usa, go usa go . usa is doing gud thing ,pakistan should do something against haqani network not always telling we are also terror affected country…usa should continue drone attack in pakistan at any cost .afgan support usa drone attack.

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  • afghanistan
    Jun 26, 2012 - 8:44PM

    faraz
    If u support bombing then drones attack is justified…………then why pakistan strikes/shouting against usa, go usa go . usa is doing gud thing ,pakistan should do something against haqani network not always telling we are also terror affected country…usa should continue drone attack in pakistan at any cost .afgani support usa drone attack.at any cost

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  • abc
    Jun 26, 2012 - 9:15PM

    Pakistan should summon the afghan diplomatic envoy and let him hear loud and clear that we will not tolerate any cross border raids. We will not let them harbour terrorist safe havens in afghanistan and the drones must be used to take out these people. Pakistan should make it clear that we already paid a huge price for the stability of afghanistan and if things like this happens than we reserve the right to protect out national security. Dont try our patience to diminish.

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  • unbeliever
    Jun 26, 2012 - 9:45PM

    @afghanistan:
    @india for peace:

    LOL!!!!
    indians and afghanistanis have even started thinking the same thing and writing it as well……

    bhai mai bhi indian hoon, but aisi bewkoofi, it’s is called idiocy, and you must know that you embarass your countrymen.

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  • M M Aslam
    Jun 26, 2012 - 9:54PM

    Pakistan military’s response is equally wrong…Firing Artillery or rockets inside Afghanistan must not be resorted to under any circumstances…A strong diplomatic demarche to both Afghan Government and NATO is required…we have to be more strong, vigilant and resposive on our borders…Loose ends to be tied up…Attack on a Pakistani established post resulting in such heavy losses as well as people going ‘Missing’ speaks of lack of professionalism….Army must do introspection as the basic principles of establishing a post which can not defend itself till the arrival of reinforcements have been violated…we have to set our own house in order and make people accountable for their professional incompetence too…

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  • Thoughtful
    Jun 26, 2012 - 9:54PM

    So wait.. Lets follow the logic thread of the comments… Cross border attack justifies pounding civilians?. Check. Justifies hot pursuit? Right then.

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  • Rashid
    Jun 26, 2012 - 10:05PM

    @Cautious:

    Apparently USA drone doesn’t saw 100+ terrorists crossing afghan border and attacking Pakistan few days ago. While American drone can find a group of 5-10 terrorists and target them with great accuracy. Why is that?

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  • ostrich
    Jun 26, 2012 - 10:17PM

    shelling is useless.If innocent afghans are killed it will only make them bitter about Pakistan and bring about a retaliation with even more Afghans joining the Taliban cause against Pakistan.Pakistan should have allowed Americans to take out the Taliban when Americans entered Afghanistan instead what did Pakistan do? they requested Americans to provide safe passage to Pakistani Taliban.In short you reap what you sow.Has Pakistan learn’t anything from its mistakes? doesn’t seem so when you consider the continued hypocrisy of Pakistan in providing safe haven for LeT and Hafiz Saeed and Dawood the very people who are involved in sectarian violence,extortion,drug trade and other illegal activities which is destroying Pakistan from inside.

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  • Jun 26, 2012 - 10:29PM

    well if us can attack iraq , afg , libya , etc for their so called national security same goes for pakistan

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  • hussain ifzal
    Jun 26, 2012 - 10:40PM

    All is fair in love&war.Lets not forget that we are at war with terrorists and historically the Afghans have always been terrorists.The Americans are a party to the attack on Pak soldiers.They keep shouting that Pakistan is not doing enough what about themselves they connot hunt down the terrorists in afghanistan or are they prompting these attacks on Pakistan.I think Pakistan should intensify these attacks.Recommend

  • Imran Con
    Jun 26, 2012 - 10:53PM

    See, this is why drones are good. At least they hit their targets. You guys can’t even hit one person in a crowd.
    Do you know why cross border drones from the US and this shelling is different? The drones have intelligence and see what they’re hitting in an area well known, even in Pakistan, for having militants. You guys just crossed your fingers and shot some shells into groups of people because that was the general area they came from a day or two ago.

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  • Raj - USA
    Jun 26, 2012 - 11:13PM

    @Rashid:
    If you want to know the real truth, here it is.

    I support Drone Strikes and I also support that Pakistan has a right to retaliate for recent attacks on its soldiers from Afghanistan. Also agree that artillery firing is the only way Pakistan can respond as it does not have the Drones nor can it send its army into Afghanistan. However, shelling will not kill any talibans and only harm civilians.

    Pakistan never had good intentions for Afghanistan and only wants to control Afghanistan. It still continues on the same path. This is the reason Karzai refused to accept Pakistan’s offer to train his security forces. If Pakistan can come out truly with good intentions, others shall help Pakistan. Otherwise, everyone will play double game with Pakistan also. Afghanis feel really insulted when Pakistan plays the religion card to fool them. India and others, just laugh at this stupidity.Recommend

  • Anti-everything
    Jun 26, 2012 - 11:31PM

    Let both of the countries wage war against each other. Kill each other to the last person in both countries. Then the world could be a peaceful place to live on.

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  • Jun 27, 2012 - 12:41AM

    I don’t know if anyone would bother to remember few meetings between Bush, Musharraf and Karzai. How Musharraf aggressively put Karzai to his place. Even television cameras saw Musharraf showing displeasure to Afghanistan harbouring anti Pakistan elements.

    Protests should be recorded with envoys! Similar protest be made at UN floor. Discuss rehabilitation and spend money not on arms but poor people living on both sides of durand line.

    War can not be won with arms. They’ve to be won by serious, honest, candid discussions. Resolve to bring justice and through the hearts and minds of the citizens.

    Stop killing innocent folks.

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  • adam
    Jun 27, 2012 - 3:11AM

    like turkey we should think about raids like what they do in iraq againest kurds

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  • Jim Jones
    Jun 27, 2012 - 3:18AM

    Everyone who supports this should also support drone strikes.

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  • Pollack
    Jun 27, 2012 - 5:17AM

    The direction of the firing will reverse when the US decides enough is enough.

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Jun 27, 2012 - 8:59AM

    Didn’t know that strategic depth comes from a hostile population.

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  • gtg
    Jun 27, 2012 - 9:58AM

    Sometimes, it seems you’re reading an Indian or Fox News-infested newspaper, rather than a Pakistani paper. This is just another such moment.Recommend

  • Anti-everything
    Jun 27, 2012 - 10:17AM

    @adam,

    You will just about to mess up with a sleeping lion. Even the US with all it’s technologies and weapons has been brought to her knees and you will be torn apart with your rotten G3 rifles and crackling Al-Tariqs.

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  • Khalid Rao
    Jun 30, 2012 - 1:32AM

    I think this Afghanistan living people near to border, must know by now that Pakistan and its people had enough now either you quit from our territory and go back to your country or you will face a game of devil eye..Fahad from ARY channel had a very good program about this problem and I totally agree with him that we must build our defense very strong,with enough people to cover and then do not let anybody go back alive that is the only good and wise solution.They are our neighbor and Muslim too we must not go up to that extreme to kill them in their territory.A person from Swat Fazallulla must be in control or get him killed through security sources .As I heard that they have shown the photos of Pakistan forces headless bodies on their video films made by them.

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