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Pakistan summons Afghan officials, hands list of 76 militants

IANS | Islamabad |

Hit by a wave of terror attacks, which it blames on militants from Afghanistan, the Pakistan army on Friday summoned Afghan embassy officials and handed over a list of 76 terrorists hiding in the neighbouring country.

According to Inter Services Public Relations, the Deputy Head of Mission and other officials of the Afghan embassy were summoned to the Pakistani Army headquarters in Rawalpindi to lodge protest against the use of Afghan soil by terrorists to carry out attacks in Pakistan, Dunya news reported.

The officials were told to take immediate action or hand over the militants to Pakistan, Pakistan media reported.

The development comes after a series of terrorist attacks hit Pakistan within a week, including Thursday's bombing at a crowded Sufi shrine in Sehwan city of Sindh province in which 75 persons died and about 300 were injured.

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the bombing at the shrine of Lal Shehbaz Qalandar, a revered 13th century Muslim saint.

The security officials believe that militant groups now operate from the Afghanistan border region to launch attacks in Pakistan.

Hours after the Thursday bombing, Pakistan closed the Torkham border with Afghanistan due to security concerns.

On Wednesday, the Foreign Office had taken up evidence against the Jamaatul Ahrar based inside Afghanistan at the diplomatic level. The Ahrar split away from the TTP in 2014 and is believed to have with links with Daesh or the IS.

Pakistan and Afghanistan share a border of about 2,600 km, mostly porous, and the military seeks cooperation of the Afghan government to closely monitor the illegal cross-border movement.