Pakistan says 4 soldiers killed in ambush by Afghan militants

Gul Yousafzai
·2-min read

By Gul Yousafzai

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Four Pakistani soldiers were killed and six wounded in an ambush by militants from Afghanistan along the border between the two countries on Wednesday, Pakistan's military said.

The soldiers were working on fencing along the border in the Zhob district, an area of Pakistan's Balochistan province, the military said in a statement. Zhob sits across from Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province.

Late on Wednesday the Tehrik-e-Taliban, a banned militant outfit operating along the border, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement shared with Reuters.

Security officials in Paktika province said they had no knowledge of the incident.

Pakistan's Foreign Office said it had asked Afghanistan to take action against the militants.

A statement said the Afghan embassy in Islamabad had been asked "to convey Pakistan’s concerns to the relevant Afghan authorities to undertake effective measures against organised groups of terrorists operating from the Afghan soil".

Pakistan says it is constructing a fence along its 2,500 km (1,500 mile) frontier with Afghanistan to secure the area, despite Kabul’s protests that the barrier would divide families and friends along the Pashtun tribal belt straddling the colonial-era Durand Line drawn up by the British in 1893.

Security forces from the two countries occasionally exchange fire along the disputed border. In July 2020, at least 22 people were killed as crowds waited to enter Afghanistan from Pakistan at a border crossing, with both Pakistani and Afghan soldiers exchanging fire.

In April a car bomb at a luxury hotel in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, killed four people in an attack later claimed by the Pakistani Taliban. China's ambassador to Pakistan was staying at the hotel but was not present during the attack.

(Writing by Umar Farooq; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman; Additional reporting by Kabul Bureau and Saud Mehsud in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan; Editing by Giles Elgood)