Conflicts & War

Dozens protest in Afghanistan over Pak strikes that killed 48

Kabul, Apr 18 (EFE).- Dozens of Afghan activists and citizens on Monday protested in the southern Kandahar province over airstrikes on two provinces of the country, alleged carried out by the Pakistani military, which have killed at least 48 people.

“Today a large number of people come out to the streets against Punjabi oppressions (a reference to Pakistan’s largest province) and their cruel attacks on civilians in Afghanistan,” Mubeen Ahmad Dost, a protestor, told EFE.

The demonstrators directly accused the Pakistani security forces for the strikes, which took place on Friday in the southeastern Khost province and the northeastern Kunar, while demanding justice for the victims.

“This is not the first and the last time that the Punjabi army has killed innocent Afghans, they are doing it for a long time and they will continue this if the international community and the people of Afghanistan do not step up to stop them,” Dost said.

He blamed the forces of the neighboring country for the fragile security situation in the region.

Both strikes were confirmed to have taken place on Friday night by the Taliban government authorities.

The death toll in Khost province “has increased to 42 persons and 15 others are wounded,” provincial police spokesperson Mustaghfer Gurbaz told EFE.

Six others were killed and injured in a separate airstrike in Kunar, local authorities told EFE.

The strikes were strongly condemned by the Taliban, with the government summoning the Pakistani ambassador in Kabul on Sunday to express their displeasure.

Islamabad has so for not claimed the strikes, although on Sunday the Pakistani foreign ministry issued a statement saying that in recent days “incidents along Pak–Afghan Border have significantly increased, wherein, Pakistani security forces are being targeted from across the border.”

Pakistan frequently carries out strikes in Afghanistan’s border regions, with its military claiming that they house insurgent groups fighting against Islamabad.

Both Islamabad and Kabul have for years accused each other of allowing militants to cross the border to carry out attacks in their respective territories.

Even before the Taliban seized power on Aug. 15, 2021, clashes between the armed forces of the two countries were quite frequent along the Durand line, the bilateral border agreed upon between the British and Kabul in the 19th century. EFE


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