Pakistani army fire on eastern Afghanistan on Saturday claimed around 50 people, with Pakistan claiming Kabul, according to new reports released by Afghan officials on Sunday.strict measuresagainst militants attacking its own territory.
Border tensions between the two countries have risen since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan last year, with Pakistan claiming that armed groups such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have been conducting attacks since Afghan soil’s notoriously porous border.
“Airstrikes by Pakistani forces near the Durand line in Khost province killed 41 civilians, mostly women and children, and wounded 22Shabir Ahmad Osmani, Director of Information and Culture in Khost, told AFP.
Two other officials confirmed this toll to Khost. Another Afghan official reported 6 dead in Kunar province on Saturday. “Pakistani helicopters bombed four villages near the Durand line in Khost province. Only civilian houses were attacked and there were casualtiesAn Afghan official said on Saturday, on condition of anonymity, with no further details.
Footage of houses destroyed in the attack was broadcast by Tolo News, Afghanistan’s main commercial broadcaster. “All of the targets were innocent civilians who had nothing to do with the Taliban or the governmentRasool Jan, a resident of Khost, told the channel. “We don’t know who our enemy is and why we were attacked“, he added.
Hundreds of civilians demonstrated in Khost on Saturday, chanting anti-Pakistani slogans, photos released by AFP show. According to Najibullah, an official with Afghanistan’s Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the death toll from these attacks is 48 in Khost province.
“24 people were killed within the same family‘ he told AFP. Jamshid, tribal chief of Khost province, also put the death toll at over 40.”Yesterday I went there with other people to donate blood to the wounded of the Khost strikes“, he said.
The Pakistan Army has not confirmed the carrying out of these attacks. Pakistan was content on Sunday to call on the Taliban government in Kabul to take overstrict measuresagainst militants launching attacks on the country from Afghanistan.
“Pakistan again strongly condemns terrorists conducting activities in Pakistan from Afghan soil with impunityThis was announced by the Foreign Office on Sunday. Islamabad has asked the Afghan governmentSecure Pakistan-Afghanistan border region and crack down on individuals involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan“.
On Thursday, seven Pakistani soldiers in North Waziristan district were killed by “Terrorists operating out of Afghanistan‘ the ministry said. Refusing to give sanctuary to Pakistani militants, the Afghan Taliban denounce the fence Islamabad is building to secure this long border of more than 2,000 km known as the Durand Line, a name that dates back to colonial times originates.
Aghanistan warned Pakistan on Saturday. “We take all measures to prevent (such attacks) from happening again and demand that our sovereignty be respected. The Pakistani side needs to know that war is not in the interest of either side.‘ warned government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. “It is cruel and paves the way for hostilities between Afghanistan and Pakistan‘ the spokesman regretted.
The Afghan Taliban and the TTP are separate groups in the two countries, but they share a common ideology and rely on the people living on opposite sides of the border. Thousands of people typically cross the border daily, including traders, Afghans seeking treatment in Pakistan and people visiting relatives.