Haris Anwar and James Rupert
July 1, 2011
A U.S. pullback of troops from northeastern Afghanistan over 20 months has let Islamic guerrillas establish bases in the area and carry out unusually large attacks on Pakistan in recent weeks, the Pakistani military said.
Several Pakistani Taliban groups moved fighters into Nuristan and Kunar and used those Afghan provinces five times in the past month to send forces numbering in the hundreds to attack Pakistani border posts or police stations, said military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas.
“In the past we never had this kind of experience, where 200 to 300 militants attacked us,” Abbas said yesterday in an interview at Pakistan’s army headquarters in Rawalpindi. “It’s a big body in this mountainous terrain” and shows that the militants have established bases in northeastern Afghanistan that can house, feed and transport such groups, he said.