Afghan, US forces target Pak post
By Mushtaq Yusufzai
PESHAWAR: The Afghan Army and US forces based in Afghanistan attacked a joint post of the Pakistan Army and paramilitary Frontier Corps at Lowara Mandi in North Waziristan agency on the Pak-Afghan border while US gunship helicopters were noticed violating Pakistan’s airspace during the past two days.
The US troops also took away a local shepherd to their base on Sunday when they entered the Pakistani territory. However, Pakistani officials denied the attack and termed it beyond truth. Official as well as tribal sources informed The News from Miramshah, headquarters of North Waziristan Agency, that it was second attack by the Afghan and coalition forces on Pakistani security post during the past one week.
They said the post, which is known as Kunar post, was attacked with 12.7 machineguns Saturday night. However, no loss of life or damage to property was reported in the attack. According to sources, Pakistani forces did not retaliate and it was possible the target were fighters either crossing into Afghanistan’s Paktika province or North Waziristan at night.
Eyewitness told this scribe on phone that Afghan and US military personnel held a local tribal shepherd, Sher Ali son of Gul Khan and took him to a US base on the other side of the border in Paktika.
“There were 16 US troops and several Afghan army soldiers who came in four vehicles and put Sher Ali in their vehicle and took him to Afghanistan,” explained a local tribesman. He said since there was no border line between the two neighbouring countries, it was possible that the tribal shepherd mistakenly crossed into Afghanistan and was thus caught by the troops.
Local tribal people have been noticing US gunship helicopters flying several kilometres inside Pakistani territory for the last several days. Meanwhile, the Afghan and US forces Sunday set up a new security post near Khost province on Ghulam Khan border and installed heavy weapons there.
Pakistani officials told The News they were demanding similar posts from Afghan and US officials on the border to check cross-border movement of terrorists, as it was difficult for Pakistan to check the long porous border between the two countries alone.