Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of rocket attacks | News | DW | 03.07.2012
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Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of rocket attacks

Afghanistan and Pakistan have traded diplomatic barbs, accusing each other of cross-border raids. Kabul has threatened to refer Islamabad to the UN Security Council if bilateral talks do not defuse the situation.

Afghanistan accused Pakistan on Monday of shelling its territory, threatening to report Islamabad to the United Nations Security Council if bilateral talks between the uneasy neighbors do not show progress.

Kabul has accused Islamabad in the past of supporting Taliban militants who oppose the US-backed government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. But it was the first time that Afghanistan blamed Pakistan for hundreds of rocket attacks on a heavily forested area in Kunar province. Four civilians have died in the attacks since March.

Pakistan has accused Afghanistan of not doing enough to eliminate militants in Kunar province.

"We now have enough evidence that proves the rockets used in these attacks belong to the Pakistani army," the spokesman for Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, Shafiqullah Taheri, told the Reuters news agency.

"Pakistan has never had such brazen courage in its history," Taheri said. "They know that Afghan security forces can't react so they outrageously and indecently attack us."

Afghanistan's foreign minister threatened Islamabad with a referral to the UN Security Council if bilateral talks did not resolve the issue.

"If diplomatic discussions bring no positive results we will refer the issue to the U.N. Security Council," Faramarz Tamana said.

Cross-border tension

Unnamed Pakistani intelligence sources, meanwhile, told the AFP and Reuters news agencies that Afghan soldiers crossed in Pakistani territory on Sunday, killing two tribesmen.

"Men in Afghan national army uniforms came into Pakistan in the Ghozdarra area of Kurram," an intelligence official told Reuters. "They opened fire at a house, killing two people. The villagers returned fire and left."

The two countries share a porous 2,400 kilometer (1,500 mile) border, which has been a recurrent source of political tension in the region.

Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas have become a staging area for militant attacks into Afghanistan. Washington has ramped up its campaign of drone strikes against militants inside Pakistan, despite Islamabad's objections.

In November 2011, the US launched airstrikes on two border posts, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers. Washington has expressed regret for the friendly fire incident, but has refused to formally apologize.

Islamabad shut down NATO's supply routes across Pakistani territory in response. The routes remain closed despite negotiations between the two estranged allies.

slk/ccp (AP, AFP, dpa)