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3 Afghan women killed in alleged cross-border shelling

Pakistani forces accused of shelling Kunar province; Pakistani official rejects claim

Shadi Khan Saif/ Islamuddin Sajid   | 28.10.2019
3 Afghan women killed in alleged cross-border shelling

KABUL, Afghanistan / ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

Afghan authorities on Monday claimed at least three women were killed and four injured in alleged cross-border shelling by Pakistani troops.

In a statement, the provincial administration in Kunar said Pakistani forces allegedly began “unprovoked shelling” from across the border on Sunday that continued on Monday.

This prompted Afghan forces to defend the land and people in the mountainous villages, the statement said.

“Three women were killed in the shelling, and an old man, a woman, and two children were wounded,” provincial governor Abdul Ghani Samim was quoted as saying by local Tolo News.

Pakistan’s army has yet to respond to the claims, but a local official in Pakistan’s border district of Bajaur gave a denial.

"It’s a completely false claim, our forces did not open fire on any Afghan village on Sunday or Monday," the official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

“Our forces only respond when terrorists carry out any cross-border attack on our soldiers,” he maintained.

According to Pakistani authorities, the militants -- who fled during the country’s military operation in the northwestern Swat, Bajaur, and other districts -- have established sanctuaries in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar, Nangrahar, and Nuristan provinces, from where they carry out attacks on Pakistani forces in border areas.

Pakistan is fencing its border with war-wrecked Afghanistan to stop militant infiltration, which has invited the ire of Kabul, apart from border clashes between the two countries in the recent past.

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