NATO-led peacekeepers in Afghanistan on Saturday blamed militants for a mortar attack two nights earlier that wounded Pakistani soldiers and Afghan police on either side of the border and led to a Pakistani protest.
“Insurgents simultaneously fired at targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan on the evening of July 10,” said a statement from the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul.
ISAF said it had reports four Afghan police and eight Pakistanis were wounded in the two-way attack, and added that it suspected the insurgents' aim was “to spark a border incident”.
The clash occurred on the border near the Pakistani village of Angor Adda in the South Waziristan tribal region, a known sanctuary for al Qaeda and Taliban militants.
Angor Adda lies across the border from Berman, a village near a U.S. base at Shikin in Afghanistan's Paktika province.
The peacekeepers said ISAF's retaliatory air and artillery strikes did not touch Pakistani territory.
“ISAF forces tracked the fire to two points within Afghanistan and returned fire with artillery and one GBU-13 bomb dropped from an F-15 aircraft,” the statement said.
“All ISAF rounds were verified to have hit the origins of insurgent fire.”
The latest incident comes at a time of increased tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Also, there are growing fears in Pakistan, a key ally in the US-led war on terrorism, that the United States is planning to mount operations inside its territory.