An escalating border conflict between Afghanistan and Pakistan is threatening to undermine their cooperation on terrorism and peace talks with the Taliban as the Trump administration begins weighing its options to spur progress on both fronts.

After a blitz of terrorist bombings across Pakistan left more than 125 people dead, Pakistani forces began shelling both sides of the border Friday, aiming at camps used by a group tied to the Islamic State that claimed most of the attacks. Pakistan also closed all border crossings.

Afghanistan has protested that the shelling is forcing hundreds of villagers to flee their homes. U.S. officials have asked Pakistani military leaders to cooperate with their neighboring country in going after the militants, but Pakistan has threatened to take further unilateral action.

And in a tit-for-tat exchange of demands, Pakistan asked Afghan officials Saturday to hand over 76 alleged militants based in Afghanistan, while Afghan diplomats Sunday called for action on a list of 32 terrorist training centers and 85 militant leaders they say are in Pakistan, including the Haqqani Taliban faction that is fighting against the Afghan state.

 

 

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Featured image courtesy of European Pressphoto Agency.