ADVERTISEMENT

Pakistan: Soldier killed in firefight with Afghan militants

May 23, 2021 GMT

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Militants in Afghanistan fired across the border at a military post in northwestern Pakistan, killing a soldier in a firefight with Pakistani troops, the military said.

The cross-border attack took place in the district of North Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province late Saturday night, the military said in a statement. It said troops returned fire and a young soldier was killed.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack and the military provided no further details.

The statement said Pakistan has consistently asked Afghanistan to manage and control its side of the border. Pakistan strongly condemns the use of Afghan soil by militants for attacks against targets inside Pakistan.

Afghan Defense Ministry deputy spokesman Fawad Aman said there was no “center of terrorism in Afghanistan” and that almost all militant groups fighting in Afghanistan have bases in Pakistan.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Terrorists are entering Afghanistan from Pakistan conducting terrorist operations against people,” he said.

Pakistan has a lengthy, porous border with Afghanistan which is being fenced by Pakistan. Afghanistan Called Durand Line, the border was drawn up during British colonial rule.

North Waziristan and other tribal regions that were merged into northwestern Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in 2018 long served as sanctuaries for local and foreign militants. For years the military carried out massive operations to clear them of militants and many fighters crossed into Afghanistan or hid in the mountainous terrain.

Earlier this month, militants in Afghanistan fired across the border at troops in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least four soldiers.