July 26, 2017

Pakistan dispatches supplies to southwest border villages

08 May 2017, 04:17 | Clarence Schmidt

Four Afghan soldiers along with two civilians and nine Pakistani soldiers were killed in the clash and almost 80 others were wounded from both sides.

Afghan and Pakistani security forces have been fighting since Friday when 10 Pakistani civilians were killed and more than 40 people were injured in in firing by Afghan forces on Pakistani census workers and the troops escorting them at border villages in Balochistan.

Ghafoor said Afghan troops opened fire despite being alerted in advance that census workers would be visiting villages near the border as part of the national census, which was launched in March.

Afghanistan police, however, accused Pakistan of using the census as a smokescreen to conduct "malicious activities and provoke villagers" against the Kabul administration. Afghan officials said the Pakistani team including uniformed Frontier Corps guards had crossed into Afghan territory.

Zakaria stressed the need for resolving issues through dialogue between the two countries.

The statement also stated that the Afghan Director General Military Operations acknowledged that the border was in between villages and not at the ditch, which is well inside Pakistan, as was being perceived.

"It is the responsibility of the Afghan government to ensure that such incidents are permanently stopped", Sharif said.

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"Pakistan reserves the right to fully respond if Afghanistan fails to take measures to stop this provocation", a foreign office spokesman told a regular press briefing in Islamabad.

Durani said the clash erupted when Pakistani "militias" tried to cross the border Friday morning.

Additional contingents of the army and Frontier Corps have been dispatched to the Pak-Afghan border.

The attack caused the border to be closed again indefinitely while a curfew was imposed in Torkham bazaar as a preemptive measure.

In the wake of the attack, the government closed down the Chaman border and civilians living in the Killi Luqman, Killi Jahangir, Killa Abdullah and Badshah Adda Kahol areas near the border were moved to safer places.

Maj. Gen. Anjum said that on May 5, Afghanistan pleaded for ceasefire, which Pakistan accepted. He said mostly civilians were harmed in the attack.

Clashes on the Afghan-Pakistani borders have continued for the past three days, with both countries claiming they inflicted heavy losses on the other side. Afghan forces should focus on checking the militant elements on its soil rather than challenging the capability and professionalism of Pakistan's forces as in that scenario they will not find the space to hide.

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