Pakistan airstrike kills 45: Afghan official

The bomber struck shortly after noon in the Afghan province of Kunar and Khost, officials said.

Khost province’s director of information and culture Shabir Ahmed Osmani said on Sunday that civilians, including children, had been killed and 22 others wounded in the attack.

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Tensions between the two countries have risen sharply over the incident, according to the New York Times.

Since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan last year, the country’s eastern border with Pakistan has been a source of tension. Pakistani officials allege that militants based in Afghanistan have launched a new offensive in Pakistan since the Taliban came to power. On the other hand, Afghan officials have denied harboring any militants.

Pakistani shelling across the border has caused civilian casualties in Afghanistan for several years, but Saturday’s airstrikes indicate a significant increase in casualties, violence and the use of military force by Pakistani authorities.

Taliban officials condemned the attack immediately afterwards. They allege that Pakistan’s military carried out the attack.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said in a statement on Twitter: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) strongly condemns Pakistan’s attacks on refugees in Khost and Kunar. The IEA urges Pakistan not to test the patience of the Afghans on such issues and not to repeat the same mistake, otherwise the consequences will be dire. ”

He said the existing problems between the two countries need to be resolved politically.

In a statement, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said that the Taliban authorities on Saturday summoned the Pakistani ambassador to Kabul to express their displeasure over the attack and sent a diplomatic message to Islamabad.

The New York Times reported that Pakistani officials had not confirmed the airstrikes. Referring to reports of airstrikes, they said attacks on Pakistani forces from Afghanistan on the other side of the border had increased dramatically and called on the Taliban to protect border areas from militants.

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