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Afghan NATO Force Hits Targets Inside Pakistan

KABUL -- NATO forces in Afghanistan attacked targets inside Pakistan with artillery and attack helicopters after coming under rocket fire from across the border, the alliance said.

Tension is high along the border with a sharp rise in attacks in eastern Afghanistan coming from inside Pakistan that Afghan and NATO officials blame on de facto cease-fires between the Pakistani military and militants in its lawless tribal belt.

NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) forces "received multiple rocket attacks from militants inside Pakistan, July 15," the force said in a statement on July 16. "The troops identified a [compound] as the point of origin of the attacks and responded in self-defense with a combination of fires from attack helicopters and artillery into Pakistan."

It was not clear when ISAF troops launched the strikes and spokesmen for the force were not immediately available for comment.

Most ISAF troops in eastern Afghanistan are American. ISAF and the Pakistani military "coordinated their operation closely from the outset. The Pakistani military agreed to assist and search the area if the border firing continued."