Pakistan says Afghan cross-border fire kills soldier

Pakistani army soldier stands guard on a border terminal in Ghulam Khan, a town in North Waziristan, on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan on Jan. 27, 2019. (AFP/File)
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Updated 22 September 2020

Pakistan says Afghan cross-border fire kills soldier

  • In July UN report said more than 6,000 Pakistani insurgents were hiding in Afghanistan, most belonging to the Pakistani Taliban
  • Such attacks have raised fears that the Pakistani Taliban are regrouping

PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s military on Tuesday said a soldier was killed in the country’s northwest by fire from across the Afghan border, a sign of increasing violence in an area that until recent years served as a base for Pakistani and foreign militants.
The attack late Monday hit a border security post in Bajur district, a former tribal region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The military statement said the shooting came from the Afghan side of the frontier and provided no further details.
The brief statement said Pakistan “has been consistently raising the issue for border management on other side to avoid use of Afghanistan soil against Pakistan.”
The two sides often accuse each other of turning a blind eye to militants operating along the porous frontier, which stretches 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) across rugged mountainous terrain.
In July, Pakistan said militants killed a soldier in a cross-border attack on a security post in Bajur district.
That same month, a United Nations report said more than 6,000 Pakistani insurgents were hiding in Afghanistan, most belonging to the Pakistani Taliban. Also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, they are a separate insurgent group from the Afghan Taliban, although Pakistan’s militant groups are often interlinked with those across the border in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s border areas served as a base for the Pakistani Taliban and other militants until a few years ago, when the army said it cleared the region of insurgents, but occasional attacks have continued.
Such attacks have raised fears that the Pakistani Taliban are regrouping. Last week, the insurgents released a statement asking residents to vacate the former tribal regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, as the group plans to launch more attacks on security forces.
On Saturday, two Pakistani soldiers were killed in a shootout with militants during a search operation in the province’s North Waziristan district, around 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Bajur district.
Earlier this month, the Pakistani Taliban took responsibility for a powerful roadside bombing in North Waziristan that targeted a military vehicle, killing three soldiers and wounding four.
Pakistan and Afghanistan share an internationally recognized border known as the Durand Line, which was drawn in the 19th century when the British dominated South Asia. Kabul has never recognized the boundary.


Pakistan condemns deadly attack at education center in Kabul

Updated 24 October 2020

Pakistan condemns deadly attack at education center in Kabul

  • Daesh reportedly claim responsibility for attack on educational center in western Kabul
  • Uptick in deadly violence has been observed in Afghanistan despite ongoing intra-Afghan peace talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has condemned the suicide attack that killed at least 18 people at an educational center in the Afghan capital on Saturday.

The attack happened late afternoon at the center which offers higher education training in a western district of Kabul. At least 57 people were injured in the attack, the interior ministry said. According to media reports, Daesh claimed responsibility for the assault in a post on Telegram.

"Pakistan condemns in the strongest possible terms the inhuman terrorist attack outside an educational center in Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul," Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement.

"Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and will continue to support a peaceful and stable Afghanistan."

The suicide attack came hours after a roadside bomb killed nine civilians east of Kabul. Officials blamed the Taliban for the roadside attack.

An uptick in deadly violence has been observed in Afghanistan despite ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban to yield a lasting peace and end decades of conflict in the war-torn country.

The Taliban have been accused of increasing violence to wield leverage in the negotiations.

On Friday, rights group Amnesty International said at least 50 people had been killed in attacks in the preceding week, accusing the Taliban and Kabul of failing to protect civilians.