Pakistan Protests Cross-border Attack

Posted June 17th, 2011 at 1:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Pakistan is protesting a deadly attack in which militants crossed from Afghanistan and attacked a village in the country's northwest tribal region.

Pakistan's Foreign Office summoned Afghanistan's Charge d'Affaires, Majnoon Gulab, on Friday to lodge its “serious concern” over Thursday's incident in the Bajaur tribal region.

Dozens of militants armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades reportedly crossed the border and killed five civilians, including two women, in Bajaur.

Pakistan's Foreign Office said Friday that a strong diplomatic protest was lodged with the senior Afghan diplomat.

Meanwhile, local officials say at least 11 militants and a local tribesmen were killed Friday in clashes between Pakistani security forces and militants in Bajaur. Troops launched a search operation in the region following Thursday's cross-border attack.

Pakistani forces have carried out a number of military operations against Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants in Bajaur.

Pakistan's Foreign Office Friday also lodged a protest against an alleged border incursion by NATO aircraft in the Mohmand tribal area. Pakistan says the coalition aircraft attacked a military post in the region, but did not give a date of the alleged incident.

In Pakistan's southwest Friday, local tribesmen briefly blocked NATO supplies and other traffic on a highway near the Chaman border crossing in Baluchistan province.

Officials say the tribesmen were protesting an incident the day before, in which Afghan forces fired on tribesmen at the border, wounding eight people.

Pakistani officials assured the tribesmen that their grievance would be brought up at the next meeting with Afghan and NATO troops.

Separately on Friday, the Pakistani military released a statement refuting media reports that intelligence officials may have tipped off terrorists about a raid on bomb-making factories. The military called the assertion “false and malicious.”

The New York Times reported last week that U.S. intelligence officials have twice provided information to Pakistan about the specific locations of insurgent bomb-making factories, only to find the sites abandoned before Pakistani troops arrived.

The Pakistani military said Friday that security forces launched operations on four compounds suspected of being used to make bombs. Two were found to be factories and destroyed. The military says information on the other two compounds proved to be incorrect.