Militants from Afghanistan attack Pakistani posts

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 27, 2011 2:43 AM
Militants from Afghanistan attack Pakistani posts

CHITRAL, Pakistan (Reuters) - Militants from Afghanistan launched a pre-dawn cross-border raid on Pakistani paramilitary posts in the Chitral district on Saturday, killing three soldiers and wounding four, security officials said.

Militants attacked six posts manned by the Chitral Scouts militia in the border village of Arandu in the northwest which faces Afghanistan's Nuristan province where Taliban militants have been active for years.

"Militants physically attacked some posts with heavy weapons while firing mortar bombs on others causing the casualties," one security official said.

The official gave no further details. But an intelligence official in the region said the attackers numbered in the hundreds.

Cross-border raids have raised tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent months as they battle protracted insurgencies by Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants.

Pakistani Taliban fighters who fled to Afghanistan in the face of army offensives have joined allies there to regroup and threaten Pakistani border regions, analysts say.

Twenty-seven Pakistani servicemen were killed and 45 militants died in clashes in July when some 600 militants from Afghanistan attacked two Pakistani villages in Dir region, also in the country's northwest.

Pakistan blames Afghanistan for giving refuge to militants on its side of the border, leaving its troops to counter-attack when it chases them out of the tribal areas and into Afghanistan.

Kabul in turn has blamed Pakistan in recent months for killing dozens of civilians in cross-border shelling.

(Reporting by Gul Hamad Farooqi; Additional reporting and Writing by Augustine Anthony; Editing by Ed Lane)