By Jeremy Herb - 06/22/12 01:52 PM EDT
Gen. John Allen, the U.S. commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, said in a statement that the attack appears to have come from the Haqqani network, a group that operates primarily out of Pakistan. The latest battle is likely to add to growing pressure over Pakistan’s efforts — or lack thereof — to stop militants from launching attacks in Afghanistan from Pakistan.
Allen said that U.S. and coalition forces provided “minimal support” to the Afghans at their request as they battled the Taliban gunmen.
Attacks originating out of Pakistan from the Haqqani network are one of the biggest concerns among U.S. military officials as U.S. troops draw down and prepare to hand off security control to the Afghans in 2014.
They’ve also been one of many points of tension between the United States and Pakistan as Islamabad has kept the NATO supply line into Afghanistan closed for months.
Fourteen Afghan civilians, three security guards and one Afghan police officer died in the attack, according to the AP, citing a Kabul police official.