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Afghan border attack kills four soldiers in Pakistan

Militants killed four soldiers and wounded three others on Wednesday in a cross-border attack on Pakistani checkpoints situated along the troubled frontier with Afghanistan, officials said.

ISLAMABAD: Militants killed four soldiers and wounded three others on Wednesday in a cross-border attack on Pakistani checkpoints situated along the troubled frontier with Afghanistan, officials said.

The posts came under fire from the Afghan side early on Wednesday morning in the Manozangal and Mukha Tops areas of the Bajaur tribal region, one of seven such districts bordering Afghanistan.

Maulana Fazlullah, current head of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which rose up against the Pakistani state in 2007, is believed to be possibly hiding in Kunar, the Afghan district which borders Bajaur.

The incident came four days after up to 200 militants from across the border attacked a group of Pakistani posts in the same region, triggering fierce fighting that killed one soldier and 11 rebels.

"Terrorists from across the border fired on Pakistani border posts at Manozangal and Mukha Tops," a senior security official said.

"Four soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom) and four others including an officer were injured," he added.

Pakistan's foreign ministry later said in a statement: "Islamabad condemns these unprovoked attacks."

It added that the matter had been raised with the Afghan government in Kabul and with their embassy in Islamabad.

"It has been emphasised that Afghanistan must take concrete steps to stop the use of its territory against Pakistan."

Islamabad had also lodged a protest over the May 31 attack with Afghanistan's deputy ambassador in Islamabad while the Pakistani ambassador in Kabul raised the matter with the Afghan foreign ministry.

Both countries frequently accuse each other of backing cross-border attacks by militants.

More than 6,800 people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks around Pakistan since the TTP began its insurgency, according to an AFP tally.

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