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Iran Press TV

Hundreds of Afghans flee Pakistani cross-border shelling: Aid group

Iran Press TV

Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:13PM

Hundreds of Afghan families have been displaced due to cross-border shelling by Pakistani troops over the past few days, an international aid group says.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said on Monday that as many as 200 families were displaced from their homes after Pakistani border troops fired rockets and artillery rounds.

Kate O'Rourke, NRC's country director in Afghanistan, said civilians have been caught up in the cross-border firing.

"Whether indiscriminate or specifically targeted, such attacks forcibly displace civilians, violating international humanitarian law, and must stop," the statement read.

Meanwhile, Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar Province said a number of special forces had been deployed to the border to counter any Pakistani cross-border raids.

"If they continue their attacks we will respond in kind," Khogyani said.

In Asadabad, the capital of Afghanistan's Kunar Province, also on the border, hundreds of Afghans gathered to protest against Pakistan.

Pakistani armed forces carried out a blistering artillery assault on suspected terrorist camps in Afghanistan on Friday and Saturday.

This comes days after a huge explosion killed scores of people in Pakistan's southern province of Sindh.

On Thursday evening, a massive explosion ripped through Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine as a large number of people had gathered for a special Sufi ritual. The blast killed at least 90 people and wounded over 350 others in the city of Sehwan.

The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Pakistani authorities say terrorists infiltrate from Afghanistan into Pakistan through the border crossings. A few hours after the attack, Islamabad shut down key border crossings between the two countries.

On Friday, Pakistan's army said it had called in Afghan diplomats and gave them a list of 76 suspected "terrorists" who were hiding in Afghanistan, requesting swift action by Kabul.

Afghanistan and Pakistan blame each other for the Taliban violence plaguing both countries.

The two neighbors have accused each other of allowing militants to shelter in the border regions and launch bloody attacks that threaten regional stability.

Pakistan airstrikes kill 'dozens' of militants

Meanwhile, according to Pakistan army, a series of airstrikes killed "dozens" of militants on Monday in a tribal region along the Afghan border.

The Pakistani army said in a statement that the warplanes targeted militant hideouts in the Wucha Bibi area of North Waziristan.

Shortly after the tragic incident at the shrine, Pakistan launched nationwide security raids against "terrorists," saying over 100 of them had been killed until Saturday.

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