April 5, 2018
WASHINGTON / ISLAMABAD — Security officials in eastern Afghanistan said Pakistani army helicopters bombarded a border district Thursday, hours after firing off 600 rounds of artillery in the region over the past 24 hours.
No casualties were reported.
Afghanistan’s Foreign Office in a statement condemned the alleged airstrike on Dangam district in Kunar province, calling it a violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty. The statement said the continuation of such actions would affect relations between the two countries.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is scheduled to travel to Afghanistan on an official visit Friday at the invitation of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office rejected allegations that it had violated Afghan airspace, calling the charges “baseless.”
Abdul Ghani Mosamem, spokesperson for the governor of Afghanistan’s Kunar province, told VOA that no casualties were reported because it’s difficult to get any reports from the area. He said Pakistani airstrikes continued until late evening and targeted mostly agricultural terrain and mountainous areas bordering Pakistan.
Talking to VOA, a Pakistani lawmaker said he was not aware of any such incident.
“One cannot blame only by saying that Pakistani jets have dropped bombs in Afghan territory. There must be some evidence, signs of bombardment; they should provide evidence that the Pakistani government couldn’t deny. … Pakistan’s government avoids such things,” said Sheikh Rohale Asghar, a member of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League.
This story was written by VOA’s Mohammad Ahmadi and Muhammad Ishtiaq. VOA’s Afghan service contributed to this report.