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Pakistan Asks Kabul to Probe Links to Attack that Killed 23 Soldiers

Pakistan has protested to Afghanistan’s Taliban government over the killing of 23 soldiers in an attack on a military base, demanding action against the perpetrators, Islamabad said as it grapples with security challenges ahead of elections next year, according to Reuters.

Tuesday’s gun and bomb attack claimed by an Islamist militant group comes amid concerns voiced by political analysts about general elections set for February 8, amid a surge in such attacks in the mainly Muslim nation of 241 million.

Pakistan’s foreign office summoned Kabul’s envoy over the attack, it said in a statement on Tuesday, asking for the Taliban administration to “fully investigate and take stern action against the perpetrators of the recent attack”.

It also sought a public condemnation of the incident, which led to the heaviest death toll in a single attack in years.

The ministry did not say whether an Afghan national was involved in the base camp attack, nor provide details of why Islamabad wants Kabul to investigate the links to it.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a top intelligence official in Islamabad told Reuters that Pakistan was investigating evidence that suggested an Afghan national had led the six-man suicide squad responsible for the attack.

The Pakistani military did not respond to a request for comment.

The Taliban diplomat in Islamabad, Sardar Ahmad Shakib, has conveyed Pakistan’s concerns to Kabul.