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Pakistan Protests Cross-Border Attack that Kills 13 Troops

  • VOA News

Pakistan on Monday lodged a formal protest with Afghanistan after a cross-border attack that the Pakistani military says killed 13 soldiers.

Pakistani authorities say more than 100 militants from Afghanistan attacked the troops in the northwestern Upper Dir region late Sunday.

Pakistan's military said six troops and 14 of the attackers were killed in the ensuing clash, while seven soldiers went missing and were later beheaded.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

The army said Monday it strongly protested the attack with counterparts across the border for "not taking action against miscreants present in safe havens in Afghanistan."

Pakistan's newly elected prime minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, said he will take up the issue with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

But an Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, Zahir Azimi, told VOA Afghan Service the allegation that militants from Afghanistan crossed the border and killed six Pakistani soldiers is “false and baseless.”

In other violence, gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a local television station in the southern port city of Karachi late Monday, wounding a security guard and an employee. The gunmen fled the scene after the attack.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying the group should be given the coverage equal to what the TV station gives to the government and the army.

Afghan and U.S. officials accuse Pakistan-based militants of carrying out attacks in neighboring Afghanistan and have repeatedly urged Pakistani leaders to crack down on militant safe havens in the country's northwest.

Pakistan's military said Monday that the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, will visit Wednesday for talks on border coordination with Pakistani army chief General Pervez Ashfaq Kayani. Allen's visit comes days after he accused the Pakistan-based militant Haqqani network of Friday's deadly attack on a hotel outside the Afghan capital.

Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes into Afghanistan after NATO airstrikes mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops near the border last November. Talks between the United States and Pakistan to reopen the supply lines have stalled.
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