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TTP hits back–kills 3 soldiers to avenge Pak airstrikes in Afghanistan.

TTP hits back--kills 3 soldiers to avenge Pak air strikes in Afghanistan

The Pakistani army has said that the situation on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border Durand Line has been worsening, “which is very alarming.” In a statement, army’s media wing the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) said that at least three Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred when terrorists opened fire on the troops from across the Pak-Afghan border in the Dewagar area of North Waziristan on Saturday. 

“Pakistan strongly condemns the use of Afghan soil by terrorists for activities against Pakistan and expects that Afghan government will not allow the conduct of such activities, in future.” The ISPR warned Taliban rulers to rein in the militants of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who have been running terror camps across the Durand Line in Afghanistan. 

“Afghanistan government should cooperate with Pakistan in tracking down those terrorists because Islamabad has always extended its support to the neighbouring country and has raised the issue of Kabul’s humanitarian crisis at various international forums,” said the army. 

The Taliban regime has called the blame baseless and have repeated that they have not allowed anyone to attack from their soil. 

Meanwhile the TTP has put out video clips on social media alleging attacks on the Pakistani army posts on the border. 

In one post, the militant group says that the attack was in” revenge for Pakistan's attack on innocent tribal Pashtuns in Khost and we have captured the post.” The clip shows a captured soldier being beaten by the group. 

In another post, the video clip shows the attack on an army post and soldiers running away to save their lives.

It may be recalled Pakistan had launched air raids over eastern Afghanistan on April 16, killing dozens of civilians, according to locals. Islamabad said it was targeting TTP militants. The air strikes provoked unusually harsh exchanges, with the Taliban issuing threats against Pakistan—its long-time ally.

Drone attacks were apparently carried out just after last week’s strike by Pakistan Air Force (PAF), in which 45 people were killed including 5 children and 7 women. The TTP admitted that its 33 cadres were killed and vowed to intensify attacks on the Pakistani army.

Also Read : Pakistan steps up air war against TTP, now admits to drone strikes inside Afghanistan

Ignoring Taliban’s protests, the Pakistani foreign office also summoned the Afghan envoy in Islamabad, and told him that Pakistan has run out of patience with the Afghan Taliban.

According to Pakistani watchers, the Taliban were conveyed many times in the past several months "through institutional channels for effective coordination and security along our long-shared border – the Durand Line. They were asked to hand over leaders of banned militant proscribed TTP,  but so far nothing has happened. 

"Pakistan is angry that the Taliban are copying its playbook by hosting a militant group hostile to a neighbouring country. But the Afghan Taliban is unlikely to bow to Islamabad’s demand," Sami Yousafzai, a veteran Afghan journalist, told Gandhara News. 

The Taliban is equally furious with its long-time ally Pakistan for its surgical strikes inside Afghanistan.

The air strikes are  “a cruelty” that will pave the “way for enmity between Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said. He added that Islamabad “should know that if a war starts it will not be in the interest of any side.”

According to the Islamabad-based Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), there have been more than 50 attacks by the TTP this year already in comparison to 294 attacks last year. 

While the Taliban has refused to rein in the TTP, Pakistan has already warned that it will continue targeting TTP sanctuaries in Afghanistan and it will further increase the tension between the Taliban and Pakistan.

Also Read : Pak-Afghanistan rift widens with the Taliban’s refusal handover TTP militants after air strikes