Landi Kotal: 4 soldiers killed in Afghan shelling
WANA/LANDIKOTAL: Four Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers were killed when several rounds of artillery and mortar shells fired from across the border in Afghanistan fell in the Angoor Adda area of South Waziristan Agency on Tuesday.
Also, mortar shells fired from the Afghan side injured nine people in Landikotal Tehsil of Khyber Agency, official and local sources said. Security officials said the shells fired from Afghanistan’s Paktika province landed in villages near the border town of Angoor Adda in South Waziristan. Some of the artillery and mortar shells hit the border security posts manned by the FC soldiers.
Security officials said four FC men died when some artillery rounds fell on their post in Angoor Adda. The names of slain soldiers could not be ascertained. There was no information about any retaliation by the Pakistani security forces deployed on the border with Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, at least nine people, including a child, were injured when several mortar shells fired from Afghanistan hit a playground in Landikotal town in Khyber Agency and also fell in front of a mosque in a nearby village.
Sources said two mortar shells were fired at 7:45pm from the mountains in the Afghan territory when a cricket match was in progress. Within a few minutes, three more shells hit the cricket ground and injured eight players and spectators, the sources said.
The injured were identified as Ihsanullah, Sher Khan, Munir Khan, Maqbali Shah, Salman, Hayat Wazir, Niamatullah and Kaif Khan. “In the meantime, another shell came and landed in front of Zakaria mosque in Khugakhel village. It injured a 10-year-old boy Hamid Hussain,” an eyewitness, Farhad, told The News by phone.
The injured persons were rushed to the Agency Headquarters Hospital in Landikotal where their condition was stated to be serious, hospital sources said. Security forces deployed at the hilltops retaliated and fired in the direction from where the mortar shells were coming, sources said.
Though local authorities didn’t confirm the reports that the mortar shells were fired from Afghanistan, sources claimed the shells were fired by the Afghan militants. However, the possibility of Pakistani militants firing the shells cannot be ruled out. No group of militants has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Online adds from Islamabad: Pakistan has formally expressed its reservations to the Nato forces and Afghan National Army over incursions into Pakistani soil during the last two months.
According to defence sources, the Pakistan Army has made a demand for a joint investigation into the incidents of cross-border incursions. Sources say the Nato and Afghan National Army are not playing their role to stop the entry of Afghan militants into the Pakistani territory.
According to sources, the incidents of shelling from Afghanistan have increased in the months of June and July and 64 mortar shells have landed in South Waziristan alone during this period.