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Pakistan PM says Suicide bombers helped by ‘Afghan citizens’

Militants behind a recent wave of suicide bombings in Pakistan were being helped by “Afghan citizens” across the border, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said, days after a deadly blast at a political rally near the countries’ shared border.

Sharif’s remarks came after a security briefing and a visit to victims of Sunday’s blast, which killed 63 people and injured more than 123 others.

Meanwhile, the attack was claimed by the Pakistan chapter of the Islamic State group, who have a bloody rivalry with the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

“The Prime Minister noted with concern the involvement of the Afghan citizens in the suicide blasts,” a statement from Sharif’s office said.

It noted “liberty of action available to the elements hostile to Pakistan in planning and executing such cowardly attacks on innocent civilians from the sanctuaries across the border”.

Earlier, The acting foreign minister of Afghanistan, Muttaqi, urged Pakistani authorities to look for the reasons behind militants’ violence in their country instead of blaming Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the interim administration in Afghanistan has denied all allegations and reiterated that they would never allow any individual or organization to use Afghanistan’s soil against Pakistan.

Since ending a unilateral ceasefire between the militants and the Pakistani army, the country has witnessed a dramatic surge in militant attacks across Pakistan, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Punjab.

Afghan government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP on Wednesday that the Khar attack was a “criminal act”.

“Such incidents should be prevented where they are happening and being coordinated,” he said.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is very serious about preventing its soil from being used against anyone, and we will not allow anyone to create a sanctuary here.”

Meanwhile, the PM’s office also urged the Taliban to prevent militants from using Afghan soil against Pakistan. “interim Afghan government should undertake concrete measures towards denying its soil to be used for transnational terrorism”.