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    Pakistan accused of Afghan border violations

    JALALABAD (PAN): Pakistani security forces, using heavy weapons and artillery, violated Afghanistan's eastern border for a dozen times in a month, a senior official said on Thursday.

    Border police chief for eastern zone, Brig. Gen. Aminullah Amarkhel, said this at a meeting with a high-level delegation sent to Goshta district in eastern Nangarhar province.

    As a result of the incursions, 500 families have migrated to safer places, Amarkhel told the delegation involving senior officials from the Ministry of Interior, the National Directorate of Security and provincial government.

    Led by border police commander at the interior ministry, Lt. Gen. Yunus Noorzai, the delegation visited areas affected by cross border assaults.

    The issue was discussed with Pakistani military leadership at the Bagram airbase three days ago, but forces in the neighbouring country once again fired mortal shells into the Gad village of Anargai area on Wednesday night, Omarkhel said. However, there were no casualties.

    He said border police in the eastern zone were capable of dealing with any eventuality and that a 200-member strong border police force was being trained on heavy weapons.

    Lf. Gen. Yunus Noorzai told reporters that the interior ministry remained in constant contact with Nangarhar police headquarters and the border police since the cross border attacks began on Feb. 2.

    He said the delegation met with tribal elders and area people to address their concerns regarding border violations by Pakistani forces.

    Noorzai said the interior minister, Bismillah Mohammadi, had discussed the matter with Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan. Border police chief in eastern zone also contacted officials at the Pakistani consulate over the incursions.

    The matter is expected to be taken up with Pakistani officials at the upcoming trilateral talks also involving Afghan and US security officials.

    Noorzai said Afghan border police were well-equipped to respond to any aggression.

    A tribal elder in the Ziayt Dak village of Goshta district, Malak Nadir, said his house was destroyed with mortal shells fired from across the border last week.

    He said more than 200 families in the village had left houses due to the bombardment.

    Another elder from Khogakhel village, Dilawar, said civilian houses were hit with heavy weapons from Mohmand tribal region of Pakistan almost every night over the past one month.

    Head of Nangarhar refugee and returnee department, Ghulam Haider Faqiri, said a team had been sent to the affected areas to survey displaced families.

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