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Pakistani and Afghan forces clash at border

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MateenK View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05-May-2017 at 7:40pm
At Afghanistan-Pakistan Border, Forces Clash and at Least 11 Die
At Afghanistan Pakistan Border, Forces Clash and at Least 11 Die

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — At least 11 people were killed and dozens were wounded on Friday in clashes between Afghan and Pakistani forces on the border between the two countries, officials said.

Samim Khpalwak, a spokesman for the governor of the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, said the clashes erupted after Pakistani forces accompanying a census team crossed the frontier in disputed territory as they were trying to include two villages in the counting.

Mr. Khpalwak said that two Afghan border police officers and a civilian were killed and that 11 border police officers and 14 civilians were wounded. He said the fighting had displaced hundreds of families.

But Abdul Haq, an Afghan border police officer in the area, said three border police officers were killed in the clash and that three civilians had also been killed.

The Pakistani Army said in a statement that the Afghan border police had been confronting the census team in the “divided villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Chaman area, on Pakistani side of the border,” for more than a week.

The porous border between the two countries, known as the Durand Line and disputed by many in Afghanistan, has been a source of tension that has led to occasional skirmishes. Afghan officials have accused Pakistani forces of repeatedly shelling its eastern districts with rockets launched from Pakistan.

After a series of deadly attacks in Pakistan this year, the Pakistani government closed border crossings for about a month, saying that those responsible for the attacks were in Afghanistan. A Pakistani officer and an Afghan officer were killed during clashes at the Torkham border crossing, about 150 miles east of the capital of Kabul, Afghanistan, last year.

Relations between the two countries have long been tense, with the Afghan government accusing Pakistan of aiding the Taliban insurgency, which has its leadership council headquarters in Pakistan. Pakistan has accused the Afghan government of harboring terrorists that carry out deadly attacks on Pakistani soil.

A recent meeting in Kabul between the head of Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency and President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan to smooth relations was described as tense by Afghan officials.

Mr. Ghani told the spy chief that several recent deadly attacks, including an explosion in the Kandahar governor’s office that killed Afghan leaders and Arab diplomats, had been traced to Pakistan, and he called for action to be taken against those responsible.


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