Pakistan, Afghanistan dispute toll after clashes

Posted May 08, 2017

Pakistan's Balochistan Frontier Corps Inspector Major General Nadeem Ahmed announced the news on Sunday, adding that more than 100 members of Afghan security forces had also been wounded in the cross-border operation.

Following the clashes, Pakistan on Friday closed a busy border crossing in Balochistan which is still shut for traffic.

"This was a shameful act to target civilians at the border villages of Pakistan", Riaz told journalists at Chaman during a visit to the area.

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The deadly development at Chaman comes at the heels of new USA strategy/ war plans for Afghanistan, which may be based on sending thousands of more troops to the divided country. The latest round of clashes is a unsafe escalation in tensions between the two uneasy neighbors who share a 2,200 kilometer (1,375-mile) porous border.

One civilian died and 30 other civilians were hurt in the rocket attacks from Pakistani forces, the spokesman said.

An Afghan envoy on Monday contradicted Pakistani military claims it killed as many as 50 Afghan soldiers during a recent deadly border feud and slammed the jingoistic tone of Pakistani media that "celebrated" the killings.

He said the census had been going on in the border areas for four days until April 29 when the Afghan forces started to hinder the process.

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Lieutenant General Amir Riaz, the commander of Pakistan's Southern Command, said Islamabad had no other choice but to destroy the checkpoints after Afghan forces, based on a "foolish mistake", attempted to enter Pakistan. An Afghan government statement issued Sunday accused Pakistan of "unprovoked firing" Friday and Saturday.

Talking to a TV channel, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was internationally recognised border, and its management was vital to control terrorism.

Afghan officials said Pakistani troops fired the first shots.

Pakistani authorities say terrorists infiltrate from Afghanistan into Pakistan through the border crossings.

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He believes the only way out of the current problem is for the countries to pursue diplomacy and work together to ensure the safety of the local residents.