News / Asia

Attacks Continue on Afghanistan-Pakistan Border

Attacks Continue on Afghanistan-Pakistan Border
Attacks Continue on Afghanistan-Pakistan Border

Pakistan says dozens of Taliban militants infiltrating from Afghanistan attacked a checkpost, killing one soldier and at least two militants.

The attack was the latest in a series of alleged cross-border incidents that have raised tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan.   

Afghan officials say for several weeks the Pakistani military has been routinely shelling villages along the remote, mountainous border region between the two countries.

The Pakistan army denies it has intentionally fired rockets into Afghanistan, but acknowledges several rounds fired at militants conducting cross-border attacks may have landed in Afghan territory.

As the attacks continue and the death toll rises Afghan officials dismiss Pakistani denials, saying the attacks are more concerted and intense.

Recently, Afghan President Hamid Karzai complained to NATO and Pakistani officials that more than 470 Pakistani missiles hit Afghanistan in a three-week period.

In Konar Province, one of the most affected, NATO forces have pulled back. So have several Afghan Army units, making it difficult to assess the situation.

Afghan Ministry of Defense Spokesman Major General Zahir Azimi says the army is not in the region, but is getting reports from Afghan border forces who say that the shelling is far too regular to be a mistake. The reports say the shelling does not appear to be targeting fleeing fighters, but villages.

The clashes occur at a very sensitive time for both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a plan to start withdrawing 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2011, followed by about 23,000 more by the end of next summer.

This gradual drawdown is part of a Kabul-backed plan for Afghan forces to take the lead in securing the entire country by the end of 2014 when foreign troops are due to cease combat operations, remaining only in a training and supporting role.

Critics have long accused Pakistan of supporting insurgent groups inside Afghanistan in an effort to retain influence over Kabul.

Afghanistan’s Eastern Border Police Commander Aminullah Amerkhail says Pakistan is looking to clear out these areas in order to deploy fighters who will pursue Pakistan’s interest once the international community leaves Afghanistan.

Contributing to the tension is that the border - the so-called Durand Line - has been disputed since its creation in the 19th century by British rulers.  Ethnic tribes that still hold on to the dream of a unified Pashtun nation refuse to recognize what they call an "arbitrary line".

But many village elders in the area, who are also ethnic Pashtuns, are becoming increasingly angry with the attacks and warn they could take up arms against Pakistan if it continues.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid