Afghan soldiers killed in border firing: Pakistani official

A Pakistani border security guard stands alert at Pakistan-Afghanistan border post, Chaman in Pakistan, Friday, May 5, 2017. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, which oversees the Afghan border police, also said the claim was "totally baseless".

Pakistan's military said its forces killed more than 50 Afghan soldiers and destroyed five checkpoints in heavy fighting along their disputed border, a claim quickly rejected by Kabul.

The clashes marked the latest round of escalation of border tensions between the two countries, which often accuse each other of sheltering terrorists who launch deadly cross- border attacks on each other's soils.

Pakistani Major General Nadeem Anjum said following Islamabad's retaliation, Afghanistan pleaded for ceasefire on Friday, which Pakistan accepted.

It is pertinent here to mention that at least 10 civilians were martyred while 42 were injured including women and children in an unprovoked firing and shelling from Afghan side of the border in Chaman in the wee hours of Friday.

A senior Pakistani military officer said Sunday that the country's security forces had killed over 50 Afghan security personnel in the recent cross-border firing.

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Census workers were going door-to-door in villages located along the border and the Afghan government was informed, with exact coordinates of the areas shared with Kabul, Pakistan officials say.

He said the government had established a tent village in the foothills of Khojak Pass - far away from the worldwide border to keep internally displaced persons.

"Pakistani forces, on the other hand, targeted Afghan security check-posts, killing 50 people and injuring 100", Ahmed told a briefing, as quoted by The Express Tribune newspaper.

The border is considered invalid by many Afghans and clashes along it are not uncommon. After the survey is completed, a report will be sent to Islamabad and Kabul.

The so-called "Durand Line", a 2,400-kilometre (1,500-mile) frontier drawn by the British in 1896 and disputed by Kabul, has witnessed increased tension since Pakistan began trenching along it past year. Instead, militants with sanctuaries on either side of the border often use one of many other unofficial crossings along the frontier.

  • Adam Floyd