The death toll from Pakistani military air strikes in the eastern Afghanistan provinces of Khost and Kunar has risen to at least 47, officials said on Sunday. “Forty-one civilians, mainly women and children, were killed and 22 others were wounded in air strikes by Pakistani forces near the Durand line in Khost province,” Shabir Ahmad Osmani, director of information and culture in Khost told AFP about the strikes that took place on Saturday.
Two other officials confirmed the death toll in Khost, while an Afghan official said on Saturday six people were killed in Kunar province. The Pakistani military has so far not offered any comment on the strikes, but on Sunday the foreign ministry in Islamabad urged the Taliban authorities in Kabul to take “stern actions” against militants launching attacks against Pakistan from Afghan soil.
Border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have risen since the Taliban seized power last year, with Islamabad claiming militant groups are carrying out regular attacks from Afghan soil. The Taliban deny harbouring Pakistani militants, but are also infuriated by a fence Islamabad is erecting along their 2,700-kilometre (1,600-mile) border.