Monday, May 08, 2017

Pakistani, Afghan troops exchange fire on border, several killed

Pakistani and Afghan troops exchanged fire for several hours on Friday along their disputed border, officials on both sides said, as tension between the neighbors flared into deadly violence.

Pakistan's military said a census team - guarded by troops from its Frontier Corps (FC) - that was collecting population data in a village near the border town of Chaman came under fire and at least one person was killed and 18 wounded.

Zia Durani, police spokesman for Afghanistan's Kandahar province, said Pakistani officials were using the census as a cover for "malicious activities and to provoke villagers against the government".

"They did not heed the warning and we have clear orders to engage them," Durani said, adding two Afghan border police were wounded.

Kandahar police chief General Abdul Raziq said 40 Pakistani soldiers and 37 others were killed, including 14 Afghan border police. Reuters was unable to confirm the figures.

Violence ceased later in the day and officials from both sides were due to meet at the frontier, the Pakistani military said. Pakistan's foreign ministry summoned the Afghan charge d’affaires to protest at what it called unprovoked firing.

Afghanistan has for years accused Pakistan of sheltering Afghan Taliban militants, something Pakistan denies. - More, Reuters

Pakistani, Afghan troops exchange fire on border, several killed


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