LASHKAR GAH: Hundreds of protesters marched in Afghanistan’s east and south on Monday, demanding a military response to weeks of shelling from Pakistan, as a senior US commander said NATO-led forces were talking with Pakistan to try to end the bombardment.
Relations between the two neighbours have been strained by weeks of mortar shelling that Kabul says has killed at least 42 civilians and wounded scores more.
Over 800 rockets have crossed the border since early June, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said Afghanistan will not respond with military force, over-ruling his defence and interior ministers who had sought permission to return fire.
Protesters called on the government to retaliate if the cross-border shelling does not stop. The issue has infuriated Afghans from ordinary villagers to the top echelons of power.
”The government must respond with heavy artillery onto Pakistan’s soil,” protestor Ahmad Janan told Reuters in Lashkar Gah. He was carrying a banner that read ”The blood of our innocent people will not be spilt in vain”. (Reuters)