Cross-border fire angers US troops in Afghanistan

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US and Afghan soldiers near the border with Pakistan have faced a sharply increased volume of rocket fire from Pakistani territory in the past six months, putting them at greater risk even as worries over the disintegrating relationship between the US and Pakistan and for how long US is restrained from striking back. Ground-to-ground rockets fired from Pakistan side have landed on or near the US outposts in one Afghan border province at least 55 times since May, according to interviews with several US officers and data released in the past week. Last year, during the same period, there were two such attacks, The New York Times said.
Also when members of a Navy Seals team killed Osama Bin Laden in the house where he lived near Pakistan Military Academy, plunged the US-Pakistani relations to a new low. Since then, the escalation in cross-border barrages has fueled frustration among officers and anger among soldiers at front-line positions who suspect, but cannot prove, a Pakistani government role. The government’s relations with the US frayed further after senior US officials publicly accused Pakistan of harboring and helping terrorists. Last month, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, called the insurgents who attacked the US embassy in the Afghan capital “a veritable arm” of the ISI, Pakistan’s military intelligence service.
Pakistani officials have repeatedly denied aiding Taliban fighters and the Haqqani Network, which operate on both sides of the border. They insist they try to prevent cross-border incursions or violence. The precise reasons for the increase in rocket fire are unclear. Whether the surge in attacks indicates Pakistani military retaliation, an emboldened insurgency, some degree of both or some other factors cannot be determined from the data alone.
The data release includes attacks from several insurgent positions just inside Afghanistan, some within 200 yards of the border, from where rocket crew fire and then rush back to Pakistan.
There were at least 102 of these so-called close-border attacks against the same outposts since May, including one on October 7 that the US military called the largest and most coordinated insurgent operation in the province since 2009. Last year, during the same period in the same places, there were 13 close-border attacks. Several soldiers complained of what they called the “politics” limiting their choices. “We’re just sitting out here taking fire,” one soldier said. “If they want us to do our jobs, let us do our jobs.”

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  1. "Admitting the killing of 100 security forces personnel in the cross-border attacks in Dir, Mohamand and Bajaur, Inter Service Public Relation (ISPR) Director General (DG) Athar Abbas on Monday said that Pakistan has asked repeatedly to launch action against the fugitive Taliban Commander Maulvi Fazlullah, hiding in Afghanistan but no action was yet taken against him.
    "Fighters loyal to Fazlullah have launched repeated attacks on security check-posts in the Pakistan's territory during cross-border attacks and killed up to 100 security forces personnel besides killing the innocent citizens," the ISPR spokesman said while talking to foreign news agency.
    He said that despite Pakistan's repeated request for action against the said commander hiding in Afghanistan, US led forces were not willing to launch attack against the fugitive commander whose fighters in cross-border attacks raided villages in Dir, Bajaur and Mohmand from April to August this year"

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