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Afghan troops intrude into Kurram, kill two villagers

July 03, 2012


PARACHINAR, July 2: Afghan National Army troops intruded into a village in Kurram Agency on Monday and killed two tribesmen and injured another, officials said.

The incident took place in Muqbal village, some 20km south of Parachinar, the agency’s administrative headquarters.

Hours before the incident, a security post of the ANA came under attack near Anzer Kali in Danda Pattan area of Afghanistan’s Paktia province. The border post is adjacent to Kherlachi village in Upper Kurram.

Sources said the pre-dawn attack had been repulsed by the Afghan army. They said Afghan troops intruded into Pakistani territory while pursuing the fleeing attackers and came across people of Muqbal village.

Local people said the ANA personnel fired at three farmers. Lahore Khan and Gul Wazir died on the spot while Khwaja Din was injured.

Residents said they had seen more than 50 Afghan soldiers near the village and armed tribesmen exchanging fire with them. The gunbattle continued for over an hour.

Assistant political agent Javidullah Mehsud and other officials visited the village after the incident.

It may be mentioned that Pakistan deployed troops at two trade posts with Afghanistan – Kherlachi and Borki – last month after about five years.

INCURSION DENIED: Afghan defence officials denied the alleged incursion. “We are not aware of such an operation by the Afghan National Army in that area,” AFP quoted Daulat Wazir, a spokesman for the ministry of defence, as saying.

Colonel Ahmad Jan, a spokesman for army corps 203 in southeastern Afghanistan, said: “It is not true; our forces have not entered Pakistan. We have not had any operations near the border recently.”

But in Pakistan, border attacks have raised fresh concern that Pakistani Taliban, who fled a 2009 army offensive, have regrouped and again pose a threat.

Officials said dozens of militants based in Afghanistan had attacked a checkpost in Upper Dir on Sunday for the second time in eight days. They said six militants were killed after crossing into Sabir Killey village in Upper Dir.

One official said there were reports that `hundreds of militants’ were gathering in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar.

“Authorities have alerted local lashkars (tribal militia) amid fears of a bigger clash,” he told AFP.

Afghan threat: Afghanistan threatened on Monday to report Pakistan to the UN Security Council over what Kabul alleges is the shelling of its villages along the border between the two countries.

Authorities in the eastern province of Kunar have complained for weeks of being bombarded from across the frontier, blaming the barrage on Pakistani security forces.

Thousands of villagers in Kunar fled their homes as a result of “Pakistani rocket shelling” in recent weeks, officials said last week.

Foreign ministry spokesman Faramarz Tamana said Kabul was discussing the attacks with Islamabad and President Hamid Karzai would raise the matter with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf when he visits Afghanistan in the coming weeks.