At least six dead in Afghanistan in shootings by Pakistani military forces

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At least six people, five children and a woman, were killed in eastern Afghanistan by rocket fire from Pakistani military forces on the border between the two countries on Saturday, according to an Afghan official and a resident.

“Five children and a woman were killed and a man was wounded by Pakistani rocket fire in Shelton district, Kunar,” provincial director of information Najibullah Hassan Abdaal told AFP.

A resident of the district, Ehsanullah (who like many Afghans uses only one name), confirmed the death toll, saying the attack was carried out on Saturday morning by Pakistani military planes.

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.

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.

Taliban summon Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul

A similar assault also took place before dawn on Saturday in the Afghan province of Khost, another Afghan official said.

“Pakistani helicopters bombed four villages near the Durand line in Khost province. Only civilian houses were targeted and there were casualties,” he said on condition of anonymity, without giving further details.

An Afghan tribal elder in Khost, Gul Markhan, confirmed the incident.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday that it had summoned Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul following the latest incidents.

Previous ambush in Pakistan

At least seven soldiers were killed in northern Pakistan by insurgents attacking the convoy they were traveling in, four of whom were also killed in the exchange of fire, the Pakistani military said on Friday.

The event took place yesterday in the northern district of North Waziristan, near the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, when “terrorists ambushed a military convoy,” the Pakistani Army communication office said in a statement Friday. ISPR).

As a result of “an intense exchange of fire”, the security forces “killed four terrorists”, although they lost seven troops, the text specified.

escalation of violence

The ISPR reported that “a cleaning operation” is underway in the area to put an end to the insurgent threat.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Precisely the director of the ISPR, General Babar Iftikhar, pointed out yesterday during a press conference that the security forces killed 128 insurgents and arrested another 270 during the first three months of 2022.

A figure that had as compensation the loss of 97 Pakistani soldiers.

Insurgent attacks have decreased considerably since the Army launched several military operations in Pakistan in 2014, but in recent months the country has seen an uptick in attacks against its security forces, especially in the southwestern province of Balochistan.

An escalation of violence to which was added last December the end of the ceasefire that unilaterally broke the main Pakistani Taliban group, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in disagreement with the government of then Prime Minister Imran Khan, whom he accused of failing to fulfill his commitments.

One of the latest incidents occurred on March 15 in Baluchistan, when at least four members of the Pakistani security forces were killed and eight others were injured after the detonation of an explosive device as a Frontier Corps convoy passed.

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