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U.S. senators ask Pakistan to seal border with Afghanistan

U.S. senators ask Pakistan to seal border with Afghanistan

Two American senators said Pakistan needs to do more to stem the infiltration of insurgents into Afghanistan, as an attack by two suicide bombers in the country's east left one policemen dead and 17 people wounded.
Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, said during a visit to Afghanistan on Friday that Pakistan needs to make a "much more aggressive effort to control the borders and to prevent any suggestion that Taliban elements can freely associate and organize themselves within Pakistan."
Afghan and some Western officials have repeatedly accused Pakistan of insincere efforts to block the insurgent flow over the border. Pakistan rejects the charge and says it does all it can.
Pakistan's government signed a deal with pro-Taliban militants on Sept. 5 to end the fighting that broke out in North Waziristan after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. Under the deal, militants agreed to not carry out violent acts or send fighters into Afghanistan.
But U.S. military officials said the number of attacks on coalition and Afghan troops has tripled since that deal was reached.
"North Waziristan must be judged on harsh, hard realities," said Sen. Richard Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, who together with Reed spent a few days in Afghanistan during a regional tour that included a stop in Pakistan. "If (the violence) is increasing, then clearly that policy has to be reassessed and re-evaluated."
Reed and Durbin met Afghan and U.S. officials, touring the country on the same day that two suicide bombers blew themselves up in eastern Afghanistan, killing one policeman and wounding seven other people.
The first bomber tried to enter the main police compound in the eastern Khost province, said provincial police chief Mohammed Ayub.
The blast, in the city of Khost, wounded eight policemen and eight civilians including two children, Ayub said. The bomber's body parts were scattered around the blast site, he said.
The second bomber killed himself and wounded a taxi driver after police stopped to search him at a checkpoint 15 kilometers (10 miles) southeast of Khost, Ayub said. No police were injured in the second blast.
The attacker was traveling in a taxi coming from neighboring Pakistan, he said.
Resurgent Taliban militants have stepped up their campaign of suicide bombings against Afghan and foreign troops this year, in the country's worst bout of violence since the U.S.-led invasion removed the Taliban regime from power five years ago.


Updated : 2021-01-25 18:09 GMT+08:00