US troops have sealed the border along the North Waziristan tribal agency that US has long been pressuring Pakistani forces to attack the Haqqani network.
Admiral Mike Mullen accused Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) of supporting the Haqqani network, an allegation which has been strongly rejected by Islamabad.
The Haqqani network is the most strong resistance group who helps fight against Afghan occupation.
Reports from North Waziristan tribal agency, bordering Afghanistan’s Khost province, said that the United States has shifted hundreds of its troops to the bordering area. Some suggested the number is over 500. The troops, backed by gunship helicopters and heavy armory, have sealed the border for all types of movement.
Local press reports said that tribesmen living in the border areas said Afghan and US authorities had clamped a curfew in the Gurbaz area of Khost province and started house-to-house searches.
The abrupt deployment of US troops has escalated tension in the area as more than 900 loaded trucks have been stranded. It has also raised fear that the US troops may expand attacks to Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal agency, which has been the target of intensified drone strikes since early this year.
There were reports of NATO helicopters violating Pakistan’s aerial space in the same area on Sunday, as the US troops were being deployed.
Local newspaper The News (TN) citing security officials and tribal sources in Ghulam Khan bordering area said US forces had arrived there during the night between Saturday and Sunday, and occupied nearby hilltops and established observation posts.
Sources told TN that US forces had set up a huge military base across the border and shifted gunship helicopters, heavy tanks, long-range artillery guns, and other heavy weapons to the border area. The villagers in Ghulam Khan said NATO warplanes were also seen flying over the border region several times during the day.
Three Egyptians and a local tribesman were killed in the latest US missile strike on Friday near Miramshah.
“It will be a blunder on their part if the Americans enter North Waziristan, ” said a noted tribal chieftain, Malik Mamoor Khan, in Miramshah while talking to TN. Another tribal elder, Malik Nasrullah Khan, said Waziristan was the land of brave and peace-loving tribespeople who would never allow any outside power to invade it.
17 October 2011 Monday