Pakistani military kills eight in airstrikes on Afghanistan

Ordinary houses were targeted in Pakistani airstrikes in Khost and Paktika provinces of Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan, resulting in casualties ( Yılmaz Yücel - Anadolu Agency )

Pakistani military aircraft struck homes in two provinces of Afghanistan in pre-dawn attacks on Monday, Afghan spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

Kabul said its forces retaliated against the airstrikes by hitting Pakistani military installations.

Condemning the attacks, Mujahid said eight people, including three children and five women, were killed due to the aerial strikes in the southeastern Paktika and Khost provinces.

The cross-border aerial strikes were reported at around 3.00 a.m. (22.30 GMT) on Sunday, he added.

No official statement has been released by Islamabad on the alleged attacks, which Mujahid called a “reckless violation of Afghanistan’s territory.”

Mujahid stressed that Afghanistan would “not allow anyone to invade its territory” and called on Pakistan to stop “wrong policies… and spoiling relations of the two neighbouring Muslim countries.”

“The person named Abdullah Shah, who the Pakistani side claims was targeted in the incident, is in Pakistan,” Mujahid claimed.

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The airstrikes came after at least seven Pakistani troops were killed in North Waziristan’s Mir Ali area on Saturday.

Islamabad accuses Afghanistan of failing to prevent “militants” from the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a conglomerate of various militant groups, from carrying out attacks in Pakistan before returning to Afghanistan for refuge. Afghanistan has denied the charges.

In a separate statement, Afghanistan’s Defence Ministry described the Pakistani airstrikes as an “aggressive operation,” and said border forces “of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan retaliated by targeting Pakistan’s military installations along the imaginary border with powerful weaponry.”

Afghanistan does not recognise the Durand Line – the de facto border region between the two countries – on the grounds that it was created by a British colonial regime “to divide ethnic Pashtuns.”

The 2,640-kilometer (1,640-mile) border was established in 1893 as part of an agreement between India under British colonial rule and Abdur Rahman Khan, the then-ruler of Afghanistan.

Pakistan and Afghanistan share 18 crossing points and the most frequently used for trade and people movement are Torkham and Chaman, which connect Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province to Kandahar, Afghanistan’s southern province.

The country’s defense and security forces “remain prepared to counter any further aggressive actions and are committed to safeguarding their territorial integrity under all circumstances,” warned the Afghan Defense Ministry.


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