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RFE/RL Gandhara

Pakistani Soldier Killed In Cross-Border Attack By Afghan Militants

May 23, 2021

A Pakistani soldier has been killed in a cross-border attack by Afghan militants in northwestern Pakistan, the Pakistani military said on May 23.

The attack late on May 22 targeted a military post in the district of North Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, the military said in a statement. It said troops returned fire and that a soldier was killed.

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

The statement said Pakistan has consistently asked Afghanistan to manage and control its side of the border.

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.

"Terrorists are entering Afghanistan from Pakistan, conducting terrorist operations against people," he said in comments quoted by AP.

Pakistan shares a long, porous border with Afghanistan that was drawn up during the period of 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. 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.

Based on reporting by AP

Source: https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/pakistan- afghanistan-soldier-killed-cross- border-attack/31269152.html

Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.



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