NATO forces in Afghanistan shelled insurgent targets in Pakistan in two incidents June 22, following rocket and artillery attacks launched into Khost and Paktika provinces from sanctuaries across the border. Four Afghan civilians were reportedly killed in the insurgents attacks, at least two of them children. Casualty figures for Pakistan were not available. Last week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened to send troops across the border if Pakistan’s government does not prevent militants from crossing the border. (NYT, June 23)
Taliban militants loyal to Baitullah Mehsud seized the town of Jandola, South Waziristan, June 23 after fighting with tribesmen led by Turkistan Bitani, commander of a pro-government faction in the region. Elsewhere in Pakistan’s northwest, militants attacked a military convoy in the Swat Valley June 24. At least one militant was killed and another wounded, when troops responded to the attack. The new attacks come despite a government peace deal with pro-Taliban militants in the region. (VOA, June 24)
The Washington Post reports that an “anxious calm” has settled over Kandahar, Afghanistan, a little more than a week after hundreds of Taliban fighters mounted a dramatic prison break, then briefly took control of several villages in the area. NATO forces beat back the Taliban offensive, but attacks continue to claim the lives of foreign troops, with eight killed since the counter-offensive wqas launched. (WP, June 23)
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