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Cross-border attacks: 500 Afghans protest in Jalalabad

Thu Jul 21, 9:57 am

Published: July 11, 2011

Afghan women use megaphones as they shout slogans against Pakistan during a demonstration in Jalalabad on July 11, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

JALALABAD: Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets on Monday chanting “death to Pakistani invaders” to protest against cross-border attacks that they claim have killed dozens of people.

In recent weeks tensions have sharply risen on the border that runs alongside the restive Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar, which villagers say have been bombarded with hundreds of rocket attacks.

Pakistan says its security forces may have fired a few accidental rounds into Afghanistan while pursuing militants. It also says that insurgents from Afghanistan have crossed the border to attack security checkpoints.

About 500 people rallied in eastern Jalalabad city, capital of Nangarhar province, carrying banners and chanting “Death to the Pakistani invaders. We condemn the Pakistani military invasion of our country.”

Police installed barricades along the road leading to the Pakistani consulate, where the protesters appeared to be heading.

The escalating border dispute has badly hit relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan at a key juncture in efforts to find a political solution to a decade of conflict in Afghanistan.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told Pakistan’s army chief Ashfaq Kayani the attacks must stop, while Pakistan summoned the Afghan ambassador and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has complained back to Karzai.

On Thursday, military officials from Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Peshawar and agreed to hold more high-level talks and meetings between commanders on the border to defuse the row.

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