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AFGHANISTAN - PAKISTAN

Karzai says attacks into Pakistan are justified

2 min

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that his nation "has the right to destroy terrorist nests" in Pakistan "in self-defence". Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani responded that the attacks on militants were justified.

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Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday that his war-torn country was justified in launching attacks on terrorist hideouts in Pakistan.

Several deadly missile strikes into the Pakistan tribal belt this year have been attributed to the US-led coalition in Afghanistan.

"Afghanistan has the right to destroy terrorist nests on the other side of the border in self-defence," the president told a news conference in Kabul.

"When they cross the border from Pakistan to come and to kill Afghans and coalition troops it exactly gives us the right to go back and do the same."

"Baitullah Mehsud should know that we will go after him now and hit him in his house," Karzai said, referring to a Pakistani Taliban warlord who has vowed to wage "jihad" against foreign troops in Afghanistan.

"The government of Pakistan clearly should know that we come there and hit him (Mehsud)," Karzai added.

The coalition in Afghanistan released on Thursday video footage to deflect claims that it had killed 11 Pakistani soldiers in one cross-border air strike.

US officials have said the coalition was legitimately targeting militants but has offered to conduct a joint investigation with Pakistan.

Pakistan has been combating hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants who fled over the border from Afghanistan after the US-led invasion in late 2001.

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