Pakistan fire kills nearly 50, Afghan officials say

Pakistani army fire into eastern Afghanistan on Saturday left around 50 dead, according to new reports released by Afghan officials on Sunday, with Pakistan demanding Kabul.”severe measuresagainst militants attacking their own territory.

Since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan last year, border tensions between the two countries have increased, with Pakistan claiming that armed groups, such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), have been carrying out attacks from Afghan soil. , through a notoriously porous edge.

«Forty-one civilians, mostly women and children, were killed and 22 wounded in airstrikes carried out by Pakistani forces near the Durand line in Khost province.Shabir Ahmad Osmani, director of information and culture in Khost, told AFP.

Two other officials confirmed this number to Khost. Another Afghan official on Saturday reported 6 deaths in Kunar province. “Pakistani helicopters bombed four villages near the Durand line in Khost province. Only civilian homes were attacked and there were casualties.An Afghan official on condition of anonymity said on Saturday, without further details.

Images of houses destroyed in the assault were broadcast by Tolo News, Afghanistan’s main private channel. “All of those targeted were innocent civilians who had nothing to do with the Taliban or the government.Rasool Jan, a resident of Khost, told the channel. “We do not know who our enemy is and why we were attacked.“, he added.

Hundreds of civilians demonstrated in Khost on Saturday chanting anti-Pakistani slogans, according to photos obtained by AFP. According to Najibullah, an official at the Afghan Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the death toll from these attacks is 48 in Khost province.

«Twenty-four people were killed within the same family.“, he told AFP. Jamshid, a tribal leader from Khost province, also put the death toll at over 40.”Yesterday I went there with other people to donate blood to those injured in the Khost strikes.“, he said.

The Pakistani military has not confirmed the carrying out of these attacks. Pakistan contented itself with asking the Taliban government in Kabul on Sunday to takesevere measuresagainst militants launching attacks on the country from inside Afghanistan.

«Pakistan once again strongly condemns terrorists operating with impunity from Afghan soil to carry out activities in Pakistanthe Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday. Islamabad has asked the Afghan governmentsecure the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan and crack down on those involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan».

On Thursday, seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in the North Waziristan district for “terrorists operating from afghanistan“, the ministry said. The Afghan Taliban deny harboring Pakistani militants and denounce the fence that Islamabad erects to secure this long border of more than 2,000 kilometers, known as the Durand line, a name inherited from colonial times.

“Enmity”

Afghanistan warned Pakistan on Saturday. “We implement all measures to prevent the repetition (of such attacks) and we demand that our sovereignty be respected. The Pakistani side must know that if a war breaks out, it will not be in the interest of either side.“warned government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. “It is cruel and paves the way for feud between Afghanistan and Pakistan.“, lamented the spokesman.

The Afghan Taliban and the TTP are separate groups in the two countries, but share a common ideology and rely on people living on opposite sides of the border. Thousands of people regularly cross the border every day, including traders, Afghans seeking treatment in Pakistan and people visiting relatives.

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