KABUL (AFP) -US and Afghan troops killed more than a dozen militants who were attacking from positions in eastern Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan, the US-led coalition said in a statement Sunday.
It said the Pakistan military had given Afghan forces permission to fire over the border on sites the militants were using to launch mortars around Shkin, a small town close to the border.
“Coalition counter-fire batteries destroyed the six confirmed insurgent firing sites, three on each side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,” it said, adding over a dozen insurgents were killed on both sides of the frontier.
The incident was the latest in a string of attacks blamed on the remnants of the Taliban who are said to maintain training grounds on Pakistani territory.
“The Pakistani military gave permission for the Afghan National Security Forces to fire on the targets located within Pakistan,” the coalition statement said.
Pakistan military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad however denied the claim in the coalition statement.
“This is a wrong statement, there was no attack, no firing from our side of the border. And there was no permission asked by them or given by us,” Arshad told AFP.
“This statement is wrong and untrue,” he added.
Pakistani officials have repeatedly been saying that they would not allow any foreign troops to hunt militants on its soil as it would infringe its sovereignty and draw public ire.
About 700 Afghan and Pakistani tribal chiefs, elders and politicians gathered in Kabul earlier this month to discuss how to prevent insurgents hiding out in rugged terrain on both sides of the porous border.
During the gathering — a traditional jirga, or assembly — both sides agreed to drive rebels out of their border areas.
The Taliban have stepped up their insurgency, which has claimed thousands of lives, mostly those of the militants themselves.