Afghan envoy rejects claim that 50 soldiers were killed by Pak troops

Cheryl Sanders
May 9, 2017

The Pakistani army said on Sunday it has killed over 50 Afghan soldiers near the border between the two countries, as tensions between the two forces escalated after clashes earlier this week killed 10 Pakistani civilians.

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".

Major General Hiwa Rash said two attackers blew themselves up at the entrance to the base and the other three were killed in a shootout with Kurdish forces.

The Pakistani and Afghan armies have been clashing at the Chaman border crossing in southwestern Baluchistan province since Friday.

Pakistan and Afghanistan military authorities have made a decision to determine geographical boundaries of their areas during the third flag meeting at the Bab-e-Dosti gate of the border on Sunday.

Pakistan and Afghanistan regularly accuse each other of sheltering their enemy insurgents.

Afghanistan's envoy to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal rejected yesterday's claim by the Frontier Corps and said two Afghan soldiers were killed and seven others were injured in the clashes between the two forces.

Bab-e-Dosti remains closed for the fourth day after attack by Afghan forces on Pak.

The conflicting versions of these events highlighted the hair-trigger state of relations between the two Muslim-majority countries, which share a long and conflict-ridden border, despite recent diplomatic overtures.

Afghan officials said the Pakistani team and its uniformed Frontier Corps guards had crossed into Afghan territory, but they did not provide a detailed account of the incidents.

Shahzad reported from Islamabad.

Major Gen Ahmed said today that Pakistan had informed the Afghan side about the census team in border villages but their border police sneaked into Pakistan area and "used locals as human shields so that they could make a position for attacks".

Attempts by Pakistan to harden the traditionally soft border with Afghanistan through trenching and fencing that began in 2016 have been met with hostility by Kabul.

Southern Command Commander Lt. Gen. Aamir Riaz termed the cross-border attack as shameful.

The Pashtuns can easily travel back and forth across the border, but the deteriorating political ties between the two countries are now causing them problems.

He said the government had established a tent village in the foothills of Khojak Pass - far away from the worldwide border to keep internally displaced persons.

Other reports by iNewsToday