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Pakistan Says Afghan Cross-Border Fire Kills Soldier

Pakistan Says Afghan Cross-Border Fire Kills Soldier

Tuesday, 22 September, 2020 - 10:30
FILE - In this June 15, 2016 file photo, a Pakistani army soldier stands guard in Pakistani tribal area of Khyber, near Torkham border post between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan started building a fence along the Afghan border in areas where it says militants have launched cross-border attacks on its security posts in recent weeks, a move analysts Sunday, March 26, 2017, said will help restraining cross border terrorism and will prove to be a stabilizing factor for regional peace. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad, File)

Pakistan’s military on Tuesday said a soldier was killed in the country’s northwest by fire from across the Afghan border, a sign of increasing violence in an area that until recent years served as a base for Pakistani and foreign militants.

The attack late Monday hit a border security post in Bajur district, a former tribal region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The military statement said the shooting came from the Afghan side of the frontier and provided no further details.

The brief statement said Pakistan "has been consistently raising the issue for border management on other side to avoid use of Afghanistan soil against Pakistan.”

The two sides often accuse each other of turning a blind eye to militants operating along the porous frontier, which stretches 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) across rugged mountainous terrain, The Associated Press reported.

In July, Pakistan said militants killed a soldier in a cross-border attack on a security post in Bajur district.

That same month, a United Nations report said more than 6,000 Pakistani insurgents were hiding in Afghanistan, most belonging to the Pakistani Taliban.

Pakistan's border areas served as a base for the Pakistani Taliban and other militants until a few years ago, when the army said it cleared the region of insurgents, but occasional attacks have continued.

Such attacks have raised fears that the Pakistani Taliban are regrouping. Last week, the insurgents released a statement asking residents to vacate the former tribal regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, as the group plans to launch more attacks on security forces.

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