U.S. fires into Pakistan to hit back at Taliban (ROBERT BURNS, 2/12/07, The Associated Press)
Asserting a right to self-defense, American forces in eastern Afghanistan have launched artillery rounds into Pakistan to strike Taliban fighters who attack remote U.S. outposts, the commander of U.S. forces in the region said Sunday.
The skirmishes are politically sensitive because Pakistan’s government, regarded by the Bush administration as an important ally against Islamic extremists, has denied that it allows U.S. forces to strike inside its territory.
The use of the largely ungoverned Waziristan area of Pakistan as a haven for Taliban and al-Qaida fighters has become a greater irritant between Washington and Islamabad since Pakistan put in place a peace agreement there in September that was intended to stop cross-border incursions.
It’s a free-fire zone.