Pakistan's claim on cross border attack rejected
JALALABAD (PAN): Military and civil officials in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday rejected as baseless Pakistan's army claims that Afghan Taliban had crossed the border into Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, attacking security posts.
Pakistan army earlier in the day said that 35 security men and 20 insurgents were killed during fierce gun battles in the Chitral district.
Hundreds of militants, sneaking from Afghanistan's eastern Kunar and Nuristan province, stormed security checkpoints of the Frontier Scouts and border police early in the morning, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
A borer police commander in the east, Col. Mohammad Ayub Hussaini, told Pajhwok Afghan News tight security arrangements were in place at the joint border. He said the border police were not allowing anyone to illegally cross the border into Pakistan.
Nuristan governor Thamim Nuristani also said they would not allow the Afghan soil to be used against Pakistan. He said Pakistan was also expected not to allow insurgents to sneak into Afghanistan.
He said militants coming from Pakistan attacked security posts in the Kamdesh district two months ago, killing 35 police.
"At that time I insisted that the attackers were from Pakistan. But the Pakistani government rejected the claim," the governor said.
The militants seized control of a local village after attacking the security checkpoints, local police officials said. Pakistani troops called in helicopter gunships to drive the militants back.
Chitral is located across the border with Nuristan and Kunar, both of which house significant numbers of fighters. The US largely pulled out of the area about a year ago but has recently deployed additional troops.
Pakistan complained earlier this summer that militants coming from Afghanistan had killed at least 55 members of security forces and tribal police in a spate of attacks, and demanded the US and Afghan forces do more to stem the flow of fighters.
Afghanistan has also complained that Pakistan fired more than 750 rockets into eastern Afghanistan earlier this summer that killed at least 40 people.
The Pakistan army denied it intentionally fired rockets into Afghanistan, but acknowledged that several rounds fired at militants conducting cross-border attacks may have landed over the border.
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