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Cross-border militant attack on Dir checkpoint sponsored by NATO, not TTP: Pak cop

June 8, 2011 - Islamabad

Pakistan's intelligence sources have rejected a Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) statement claiming responsibility for the recent cross-border militant attack in Upper Dir.

Last week, a fight had erupted in Upper Dir after hundreds of insurgents crossed over from Afghanistan and attacked a security check post in Pakistan.

"The TTP is known for making phoney claims to panic people," The Express Tribune quoted an intelligence official, as saying.

An Islamabad-based analyst, Brigadier (retired) Shaukat Qadir, has also rejected the Taliban claim, saying that a Special Task Force comprising Afghan Army soldiers were suspected to be the attackers.

A senior police official in Peshawar said the government had sufficient evidence that the attack on Upper Dir was sponsored by the Afghan-based NATO forces, and not by the Taliban.

"That is why the provincial government had lodged protest with NATO and the Afghan government. We never lodge a complaint with NATO or the Afghan government for any terrorist attack by the Taliban," he added.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain issued a stern warning to NATO and Kabul soon after the incursion took place, saying: "NATO is either incompetent or complicit with the infiltrators."

The three-day incursions on the Shaltalo checkpoint in Upper Dir will be one of the vital issues that will figure in the opening session of a high-level Pakistan-Afghanistan joint commission on June 10 in Islamabad, an official source said on the condition of anonymity.


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