Pakistani Shells Kill 42 in Afghanistan

700 families reported displaced, but Karzai keeps quiet: leaders
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 4, 2011 11:50 AM CDT
Afghan villagers in eastern Kunar province stand near the wall of a residential compound hit by a Pakistani artillery shell, June 28, 2011.   (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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(Newser) – Pakistani shells fired into Afghanistan in recent weeks have killed 42 and wounded 48, according to angry Afghan officials and elders. “Seven hundred families have been displaced" and women and children are among the dead, says one Afghan general. Pakistan’s media says the shells were fired in pursuit of Taliban militants, but Afghan officials doubt it. “One or 2 or 10 rounds, yes, that could be if they were chasing the Taliban,” the general tells the New York Times. “But how come 800 rounds?"

Though Karzai and the country’s foreign ministry have met with top Pakistani officials, other Afghan leaders say the country’s response has been weak. “The president is not taking a serious position,” says one official. Western officials fear that if the attacks don’t stop soon, locals in the disputed border region may retaliate. It's not clear if the Pakistani military is responsible for the attacks, but tribal elders think so, and some have warned that they are prepared “to fight them with our bare hands.”

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