Afghan soldiers killed in border firing


08 May, 2017

Afghan envoy to Pakistan, Dr. Omar Zakhilwal rejected the reports claiming 50 Afghan soldiers were killed in Chaman border clash on Friday.

Pakistan claims last week's border clashes with Afghanistan left more than 50 Afghan security troops dead and scores of others wounded while five of their outposts were destroyed.

"The global border at Chaman will remain closed for an indefinite period until the Afghan government and its forces change their attitude towards Pakistan and its people", Lt Gen Raiz said while addressing media and tribal elders.

Pakistan on Monday resumed its census in border villages, after Islamabad and Kabul agreed to conduct a survey for a fresh demarcation of a disputed frontier area following deadly clashes recently, officials said.

Ahmed, however, described the events as unfortunate.

Pakistan officials had said that three security men were among 12 people killed in the Afghan firing.

Afghanistan disputes portions of its almost 2,600-kilometer border with Pakistan, which is known as the Durand Line.

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He said Afghan border forces targeted civilians even though they had been informed about the on-going census exercise. Kabul claims the villages are part of the war-torn country's Spin Boldak district, an assertion Pakistan flatly denies.

Ahmed, however, told reporters he was "not happy" about the incident as "Afghans are Muslims, our brothers".

"We are not pleased to tell you that five Afghan check posts were completely destroyed - more than 50 of their soldiers were killed and above 100 were wounded", Major-General Nadim Ahmad, head of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, told reporters.

The border is not the only area of dispute between the neighbours: Afghanistan has long accused Pakistan of sponsoring the Afghan Taliban, though Islamabad says it provides the militants with safe haven as a "lever" to bring them to peace talks.

Sediqi further added that only two border police forces lost their lives along with civilians and not what the Pakistani authorities are claiming.

According to a United States watchdog, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR): "Casualties suffered by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in the fight against the Taliban and other insurgents continue to be shockingly high".

The border runs along the Durand Line, a British invention from 1896 which slices through the homelands of the Pashtun and Baloch ethnic groups.

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