HomeAsiaPakistani aerial strikes on Afghan villages kill 5 women, 3 children

Pakistani aerial strikes on Afghan villages kill 5 women, 3 children

Pakistani aerial strikes on Afghan villages kill 5 women, 3 children

Kabul, AFGHANISTAN (EFE) – Pakistani fighter jets bombed several Afghan villages on Monday, killing at least five women and three children, the Taliban government said.

The incident marks the latest episode of deadly violence amid growing tensions along the border between the two neighboring nations, even as Pakistan has not confirmed the strike.

Taliban government spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that Pakistani planes targeted three residential houses in the western provinces of Paktika and Khost in the pre-dawn strike.

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“Three women and three children were killed and a house destroyed in Paktika, as well as, two women killed due to the collapse of a house in Khost province,” Mujahid said.

The airstrikes were allegedly aimed at Pakistani Taliban militant commander Abdullah Shah, who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.

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A Taliban security personnel stands guard as trucks carrying goods cross into Afghanistan from Pakistan, after the Pakistani government announced the reopening of Torkham border following nine-day closure, in Torkham, Afghanistan, 15 September 2023. EFE-EPA/FILE/STRINGER

However, Mujahid denied these claims, asserting that Shah was in Pakistan.

“The person named Abdullah Shah, who according to the Pakistani side was the target of the incident, is in Pakistan,” he said.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan also refuted the claim, stating that Shah, supposedly killed in the strikes, is currently in Pakistan’s South Waziristan district. They released a video purportedly showing the militant commander alive in Pakistan.

The Taliban strongly condemned the “cowardly and unjustifiable act of aggression and violation of Afghan territory” by the Pakistan Air Force.

“The people of Pakistan and the new government should stop their army generals from continuing their wrong policies … and spoiling the relationship between the two neighboring Muslim nations,” Mujahid said.

In response, the Taliban said Monday it attacked several Pakistan military centers on the border with Afghanistan.

“The border forces of the National Islamic Army of Afghanistan targeted Pakistan’s military centers” along the Durand Line, the porous border that divides the two countries, Afghanistan’s defense ministry said in a statement on the social media platform X.

“The country’s defense and security forces are ready to respond to any aggressive actions and will defend their territorial integrity,” the ministry added.

The attacks, the first since the Taliban seized power in Kabul in 2021, comes amid deteriorating ties between the two nations, which share a nearly 2,500 km (1,500 miles) border known as the Durand Line.

The landlocked Afghanistan has never recognized the Durand Line, which divides ethnic Pashtun and Baloch tribes in the tribal regions.

Bilateral tensions have often erupted along the border, sometimes escalating into violence and leading to closures that impact cross-boundary trade.

Pakistan alleges that Islamist insurgents seek refuge in Afghanistan, contributing to a surge in militant attacks targeting Pakistani civilians and security forces.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari vowed to eradicate insurgency from the country following the deaths of seven soldiers, including a lieutenant colonel and a captain, in a suicide attack over the weekend in the North Waziristan district of the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan. EFE

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