Pakistan said on Sunday incidents of its security forces being targeted in cross-border attacks from Afghanistan had increased dramatically and called on Taliban authorities to act against the militants, a day after alleged airstrikes by Pakistan.
The incident heightened already simmering tensions between neighboring countries.
Taliban authorities summoned Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul on Saturday to protest the strikes. A local Taliban official and residents said the strikes were carried out by Pakistani aircraft inside Afghan airspace.
“Over the past few days, incidents along the Pakistan-Afghan border have increased dramatically, with Pakistani security forces being targeted across the border,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday. .
He added that the attacks were carried out “with complete impunity” and that Islamabad had repeatedly asked the Afghan authorities to act to stop them, but to no avail.
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He said seven Pakistani soldiers were killed on Thursday in the North Waziristan border area. North Waziristan borders eastern Afghanistan’s Khost province, where the strikes reportedly took place on Friday.
Taliban authorities say they have controlled cross-border attacks since taking over the country in August last year.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry did not confirm the strikes, or discuss whether they were carried out by air, which would be the first time a military incursion has been officially confirmed. The Pakistani embassy in Kabul has denied carrying out airstrikes.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expressed concern over the incident.
“UNAMA is deeply concerned by reports of civilian casualties, including women and children, following airstrikes in Khost and Kunar provinces,” the organization said on Twitter, adding that it endeavored to establish the facts and verify the losses.
There was no confirmation of the death toll. A local Taliban official in Khost claimed that at least 36 people, including civilians, had been killed.
The Taliban government spokesman issued a strong statement warning Islamabad of “bad consequences” if repeated.
“The defeat of the United States eight months ago was a good lesson for the aggressors who want to disrespect Afghanistan’s territory and freedom,” said Zabihullah Mujahid.