The Taliban summoned Pakistan's ambassador in Kabul to protest against reported military strikes inside Afghanistan by Pakistani forces, the Afghan foreign ministry said.

Demonstrators take part in a protest against alleged Pakistani air strikes, in Khost on April 16, 2022.
Demonstrators take part in a protest against alleged Pakistani air strikes, in Khost on April 16, 2022. (AFP)

The Taliban authorities have warned Pakistan after five children and a woman were killed in Afghanistan in alleged rocket attacks by the Pakistani military in a pre-dawn assault along the border.

"Five children and a woman were killed and a man wounded in Pakistani rocket attacks in Shelton district of Kunar," provincial director of information Najibullah Hassan Abdaal said referring to the eastern province of Kunar bordering Pakistan.

Ehsanullah, a resident of Shelton district who goes by one name as many Afghans do, said the assault was carried out by Pakistani military aircraft.

A similar pre-dawn assault was carried out in Afghanistan's Khost province near the border, another Afghan government official said.

"Pakistani helicopters bombarded four villages near the Durand line in Khost province," he said on condition of anonymity. "Only civilian houses were targeted and there were casualties," he added, but did not offer more details.

Afghanistan's Taliban government warned Islamabad after the attacks. "This is a cruelty and it is paving the way for enmity between Afghanistan and Pakistan ... The Pakistani side should know that if a war starts it will not be in the interest of any side. It will cause instability in the region," government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters in an audio message.

Pakistani military officials were not immediately available for comment.

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'Military violations'

Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi protested to Pakistan's ambassador in Kabul against what he said were "military violations" committed by Pakistan.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said it was "deeply concerned" by civilian deaths caused by air strikes, and the mission was verifying the extent of losses.

TOLO News, Afghanistan's leading private TV channel, showed footage of houses destroyed in the assault in Khost.

Since the Taliban seized power last year in Afghanistan, border tensions between the neighbours have risen, with Pakistan alleging militant groups were carrying out 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 known as the Durand line, which was drawn up in colonial times.

Border areas between the two countries have long been a stronghold for militant groups such as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or the Afghan Taliban, that operate across the porous frontier.

Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, the TTP has become emboldened and launched regular attacks against Pakistani forces. 

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies