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Afghanistan Demands Pakistan Hand Over Militants, Close Training Camps

Relatives gather to attend funeral prayers on February 17 for victims killed in a suicide blast at the tomb of Sufi saint Syed Usman Marwandi, also known as the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine, in Sehwan Sharif, Pakistan's southern Sindh Province.

Afghanistan's government has demanded that Pakistan hand over terrorists operating on its soil and close tens of training camps for suspected terrorists, the Foreign Ministry in Kabul said February 20.

The tit-for-tat move came after similar action by Pakistan last week, after a terrorist attack on a Sufi shrine in southern Pakistan's Sindh Province killed more than 80 civilians and wounded some 250.

The government put together a list of 85 "terrorists" working "against Afghanistan" and 32 terrorist training camps located in Pakistan, and sent it to Pakistani authorities, the ministry said.

The list contains names of "Taliban leaders and other terrorist groups, including the Haqqani network," a ministry source told the media, adding that Afghanistan has demanded that the camps be closed and the terrorists handed over.

Islamabad's list had the names of 76 Pakistani extremists allegedly operating from -- and hiding in -- Afghanistan.

Pakistan's border crossings with Afghanistan remained closed for a fourth day on February 20 after the military said that militants involved in attacks were operating from across the frontier.

With additional reporting by dpa