July 2, 2012 / 7:54 PM / 7 years ago

Afghanistan accuses Pakistan army of rocket attacks

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan accused Pakistan’s army on Monday of launching months of rocket attacks on its territory and threatened to report Islamabad to the U.N. Security Council, straining already troubled ties between the neighbors.

Kabul has regularly accused elements in Islamabad’s government and army of backing militants fighting the U.S.-backed Kabul government - charges denied by Pakistan.

But it was the first time Afghanistan has held Pakistan directly responsible for hundreds of rocket strikes on the heavily forested Afghan border province of Kunar that it says have killed four civilians since March.

No one was immediately available for comment from Islamabad but Pakistan has previously accused Kabul of not doing enough to wipe out militant bases in Afghan border areas like Kunar.

“We now have enough evidence that proves the rockets used in these attacks belong to the Pakistani army,” the spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security, Shafiqullah Taheri, told Reuters.

“Pakistan has never had such brazen courage in its history ... They know that Afghan security forces can’t react, so they outrageously and indecently attack us,” he added.

Kabul would report Islamabad to the U.N. Security Council if the attacks continued and talks with Pakistan yielded no results over the coming days, Afghanistan’s foreign ministry spokesman Faramarz Tamana said.

“If diplomatic discussions bring no positive results we will refer the issue to the U.N. Security Council,” he told Reuters.

Both Afghanistan and Pakistan had previously accused the Taliban of carrying out the attacks on Kunar, as part the militant group’s insurgency plaguing both sides of the border.

Taheri’s comments come a week after Pakistan accused Afghan troops and NATO forces of failing to take action against what it said were Taliban safe havens in Kunar and other areas.

A Pakistani intelligence official on Monday accused Afghan troops of crossing into Pakistani territory on Sunday and killing two tribesmen.

“Men in Afghan National Army uniforms came into Pakistan in the Ghozdarra area of Kurram. They opened fire at a house, killing two people,” said the intelligence official. “The villagers returned fire and the attackers left.”

Commentators have said Pakistan is trying to stamp its authority on the troubled border region ahead of the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

Additional reporting by Saud Mehsud in DERA ISMAIL KHAN; Writing by Amie Ferris-Rotman; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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