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Pakistan protests NATO cross-border shelling on security forces

Pakistan lodged protest with Afghanistan-based NATO forces over cross-border shelling, which killed a Pakistani soldier, local media quoted the army as saying on Thursday.

Three other soldiers also were injured on Wednesday in the NATO shelling from Afghan side into the Pakistani border region of Ghulam Khan, the army spokesman said.

Pakistan has called for a flag meeting of the Pakistani, Afghan and NATO officials to review the situation, Dawn TV reported.

It was not clear as to what prompted the firing and there had been confusing whether the NATO or Afghan troops exchanged fire with Pakistani forces.

Afghan media quoted the country's border police as claiming that Pakistani troops in North Waziristan tribal area fired mortars into Afghan territory on Wednesday. There had been no casualty on Afghan side and the Afghan troops returned fire.

Correspondents in Miranshah, the center of North Waziristan, said that both sides exchanged heavy fire almost the whole day on Wednesday. They said locals also heard huge explosion in the border area on Thursday. There was no report of fresh casualty.

According to local sources, Pakistani forces fought back when NATO forces violated Pakistani territory and fired mortars on security forces.

Pakistan has deployed thousands of troops along its some 2500 kilometers of porous border to check the cross-border movement of the militants.

U.S. and Afghan leaders claimed that North Waziristan is the safe haven of militants, who plan attacks into Afghanistan on foreign and Afghan troops.

Pakistan is under pressure by the U.S. authorities to launch major operation in North Waziristan.

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