Pakistan accused of killing eight women and children in airstrikes in Afghanistan

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  • By Caroline Davies in Pakistan and Flora Drury in London
  • bbc news

The Taliban accused Pakistan of killing eight women and children in two overnight airstrikes in Afghanistan.

Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the “reckless” attacks hit homes near the border with Pakistan around 3 a.m. local time (2230 GMT).

Pakistan has not yet commented.

But it comes after President Asif Ali Zardari vowed to “respond firmly” to the killing of seven soldiers by unknown militants on Saturday.

During the funeral of two soldiers on Sunday, President Zardari added that reprisals would occur “regardless of who or what country” the group comes from.

Saturday’s attack on the military post took place near the Afghan border in North Waziristan. Pakistan says they were launched from Afghanistan, one of a growing number of attacks in recent months, according to its government.

A local government official, who asked to remain anonymous, told the AFP news agency that Monday morning’s attacks on Khost and Paktika provinces were retaliation for Saturday’s deaths.


Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari attended the funerals of two of those killed on Saturday.

But Mujahid warned Pakistan not to “blame Afghanistan for the lack of control and problems on its own territory” in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter).

“These incidents can have very bad consequences that will not be under Pakistan’s control,” he added.

He said the attacks had hit “civilian homes”, killing five women and three children.

Tensions have risen between Afghanistan and Pakistan since the Taliban retook control of the country in 2021.

Late last year, Pakistan forced hundreds of thousands of Afghans to leave Pakistan, saying they did not have the proper documentation to stay. Human rights groups criticized the policy, saying it resulted in many refugees and asylum seekers being forced to leave.

Caretaker ministers at the time suggested that this was done for security reasons. Some analysts have suggested that groups have taken advantage of the Taliban’s return, but the Taliban has denied hosting militant groups, AFP reports.

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