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Two top Afghan ministers sacked over cross-border shelling

By Masoud Popalzai, CNN
updated 4:05 PM EDT, Sat August 4, 2012
Afghanistan Defense Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak (L) speaks to U.S. counterpart Leon Panetta in June.
Afghanistan Defense Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak (L) speaks to U.S. counterpart Leon Panetta in June.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Afghanistan's interior and defense ministers are voted out
  • Pakistan has shelled Afghanistan several times this year
  • There are militant strongholds on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghanistan's parliament voted to sack its two top security ministers on Saturday for failing to respond to rocket shelling from Pakistan.

The voting to dismiss Defense Minister Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Gen. Besmillah Mohammadi was aired on national TV.

The men will stay in their posts until replacements are announced. Afghan President Hamid Karzai will decide when he will nominate replacements after meeting with his national security council on Sunday, a Karzai spokesman told CNN.

The Pakistani military has shelled Afghanistan several times this year, actions that have enraged Afghan authorities.

Eight people were killed in eastern Afghanistan in one instance last month when more than 300 rockets were fired by the Pakistan army stationed near the border.

The Pakistani military said the country's troops only engage militants where they attack. There are militant strongholds on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border.

NATO-led forces and Afghan government forces have been battling the Taliban and al Qaeda in the region for years.

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