Tuesday, December 13, 2022

In a cross-border clash, eight Pakistanis and one Afghan soldier were killed

Eight Pakistanis, one Afghan soldier killed in cross-border clash

 QUETTA: Officials on both sides of the border reported that on Sunday, cross-border shelling and gunfire between Afghanistan and Pakistan resulted in the deaths of eight civilians from Pakistan and one soldier from Afghanistan. Both sides blamed the other for starting the fighting.

At the Chaman border crossing, which connects Pakistan's western Balochistan province with Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, the Pakistani army claimed that Afghan border forces had opened "unprovoked and indiscriminate fire of heavy weapons including artillery/mortar on to the civilian population."

According to a statement released on Sunday by the Pakistani military, Afghan fire claimed the lives of six civilians on the Pakistani side and wounded 17 others, prompting Pakistani troops to respond in kind.

According to hospital official Wasim Baig, the death toll increased to eight on Monday when two injured people, including a 10-year-old boy, died in a hospital in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, where they had been brought for treatment.

The killings "deserve the strongest condemnation," according to Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

He stated in a statement, "The Afghan interim government should ensure that such incidents are not repeated."

According to a Kandahar governor's spokesman, Haji Zahid, Pakistan objected to Afghan forces constructing a new checkpoint, which led to the outbreak of fighting.

He stated, "They didn't want us to build these posts on our side of the border," and added that this led to a gun battle that lasted two hours.

According to Hafiz Saber, a spokesperson for the Kandahar police, one Afghan soldier was killed and ten people, including three civilians, were injured.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have for a really long time had regional questions at their boundary and the Chaman crossing was shut for a few days after comparative conflicts the month before.

After Torkham in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chaman is the second-largest commercial border point between the two countries. It is an essential source of customs revenue for Afghanistan's cash-strapped government.

It was closed by Pakistani authorities for weeks in October due to security concerns and disagreements over Covid-19 and the validity of Afghan travel documents.

Both sides' officials stated that the crossing remained closed for some time on Sunday before reopening.

Pakistan's foreign ministry stated, "Such unfortunate incidents are not in keeping with the brotherly ties between the two countries." It added that Afghan authorities had been instructed to prevent a recurrence.

Afghan unfamiliar service representative Abdul Qahar Balkhi said on Twitter on Monday that the reiteration of line conflicts was "lamentable".

He stated that "provocations that cause violence and adversely affect relations between the countries" were called for by the Taliban-run administration in Afghanistan.

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