ASADABAD: Afghan President Hamid Karzai slammed Pakistan for failing to eliminate “terror nests” after the Taliban killed 21 soldiers and kidnapped seven in a raid on a border outpost early on Sunday.
The attack in the eastern province of Kunar was the single deadliest strike on Afghan troops in recent months by the insurgents, and caused Karzai to cancel a planned two-day visit to Sri Lanka.
Afghanistan and Pakistan regularly accuse each other of supporting militant attacks in the other country. Karzai’s comments came days after Islamabad said 23 of its kidnapped paramilitary soldiers had been killed on Afghan soil.
“During this insurgents attack on Afghan army checkpoint... 21 Afghan national army soldiers were martyred, three wounded,” Defence Ministry spokesman General Zahir Azimi said in a statement.
The Taliban claimed credit for the attack.
Reinforcements were sent to the area to hunt for the attackers and free the kidnapped troops, the Defence Ministry said.
The rebels attacked the reinforcements with a suicide bomb and gun attack but caused no casualties, it added.
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