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Taliban Accuses Pakistan of Fatal Airstrikes Targeting Civilians in Afghanistan

March 24, 2024 3:19 pm

Taliban Accuses Pakistan of Fatal Airstrikes Targeting Civilians in Afghanistan

Md Lotfar Rahman Azad, Senior Reporter:

Amid escalating tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Taliban has levied grave accusations against Pakistan, alleging responsibility for deadly airstrikes that claimed the lives of eight women and children in Afghanistan.

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesperson for the Taliban government, condemned what he termed as “reckless” airstrikes purportedly conducted by Pakistani forces. According to Mujahid, the airstrikes struck residential homes near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border during the early hours of the morning, resulting in the tragic loss of innocent lives.

While Pakistan has yet to officially respond to these allegations, the airstrikes come in the wake of President Asif Ali Zardari’s vow to retaliate strongly following the deaths of seven Pakistani troops in an attack carried out by unknown militants.

Saturday’s assault on a military post in north Waziristan, near the Afghan border, has further exacerbated tensions between the two neighboring nations. Pakistan asserts that such attacks are being launched from Afghanistan, with the military citing a surge in cross-border attacks in recent months.

In response to the Saturday incident, which Pakistan alleges had the full support of the Taliban, the Afghan provinces of Khost and Paktika reportedly became targets of retaliatory airstrikes, as claimed by a local government official speaking anonymously to news agency AFP.

The Taliban, in turn, has retaliated by targeting Pakistani military positions along the border, exacerbating an already volatile situation.

Tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been on the rise since the Taliban’s resurgence in 2021. Pakistan’s expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees last year, citing security concerns, further strained relations between the two nations. While Pakistan contends that the move was necessary due to purported security risks, human rights groups have criticized the policy, alleging coercion in the displacement of refugees.

As accusations and counter-accusations continue to mount, the situation remains tense, underscoring the fragility of the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan amidst the backdrop of regional instability.

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