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    NATO slams cross-border shelling

    KABUL (PAN): The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Thursday condemned indirect fire attacks from across the Durand Line that killed dozens of Afghan civilians.

    Coalition forces would continue to work with Afghan’s Ministry of Defence and Pakistan to end the attacks, the NATO-led force said of the cross-border shelling into eastern provinces.

    “These ongoing discussions underscore the importance of working together on the opportunities and challenges facing Afghanistan in the days, months and years to come,” said a statement from ISAF.

    The Tripartite Commission meetings (Afghanistan, Pakistan and ISAF) offer opportunities to discuss wide-ranging issues of tactical, operational and strategic importance. 

    Over the past two months, cross-border incursions have increased into eastern Kunar province, where missiles fired from Pakistani territory have killed and injured dozens of civilians. 

    Afghan officials took up the thorny issue at diplomatic level with Islamabad and said they would also seek the United Nations Security Council’s assistance to end the strikes.

    ISAF welcomed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ recent announcement of talks to be held between Afghan and Pakistan officials. “All these engagements are instrumental to the continued progress we are making toward securing Afghanistan’s sovereignty, safety of Afghan people and our shared goals of a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.”

    On Wednesday, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters in Washington that the US was working with both Islamabad and Kabul to contain violence along their porous border.

     “Well, we’re working closely with both countries, obviously, to try to limit violence along the Afghan-Pakistan border,” George Little said.

    pr/vp/mud