KABUL, July 10 (Reuters) – Suspected Afghan Taliban insurgents killed 11 Pakistanis who crossed into Afghanistan in order to detour around a dangerous part of the border area, officials said on Saturday.
Paktia governor spokesman Rohullah Samon said gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying the travellers in Samkani district, as they made their way from Kurram to Peshawar via Afghanistan.
Tribesmen frequently take the circuitous Afghan route as the direct road linking the two regions is often the scene of Pakistan Taliban attacks on travellers.
While the Pakistan and Afghan Taliban are different organisations, they have close links and draw the overwhelming bulk of their fighters from the Pashtun ethnic group which was divided by a colonial-era border known as the Durand Line.
While Pakistan has taken some steps against its own Taliban insurgency, Kabul and its allies accuse Islamabad of secretly supporting the Afghan Taliban and giving sanctuary to their leadership.
Islamabad denies the charges, but Pakistan has long seen Afghanistan as “strategic depth” in case of war with its eastern neighbour, India. (Writing by David Fox; Editing by Jeremy Laurence) (For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, see: here)