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Pakistan Military Launches Air Strikes In Northwest Tribal Region

KALAYA, Pakistan -- Pakistan military jets have attacked four locations in the northwestern Orakzai tribal region, killing an unknown number of suspected Taliban militants.

Speaking to RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal, an intelligence official confirmed the attack took place on July 22, but was unable to say how many militants had been killed.

The Reuters news agency cited unnamed military officials as saying 15 militants died in the attacks, but said the toll could not be verified.

Earlier, Afghan officials in the eastern province of Kunar say a village near the border with Pakistan was struck on July 21 by an artillery barrage from Pakistani government forces.

Wasifullah Wasif, a spokesman for the governor of Kunar Province, told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal that four people were killed by the barrage in the village of Dangam.

Wasif said 10 houses in the village were also destroyed by the barrage -- the latest in a series of attacks in the area during the past month.

Provincial officials and residents have asked the Afghan government to take diplomatic action to stop the cross-border artillery barrages.

In response to the attacks on July 22, Afghanistan has warned Pakistan that any further cross-border shelling could significantly harm relations between the two countries.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin summoned Pakistan's ambassador in Kabul on July 22 to discuss the latest shelling.

President Hamid Karzai's office said the issue was also raised in a meeting of the national Security Council.

In the past, Pakistani officials have said they are trying to target Pakistani militants near the border.

Several militant groups, including the Pakistan Taliban, are active in the semi-autonomous tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan, AFP, and Reuters

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