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Shootout on Afghan-Pakistani border kills civilians

Greater Middle East (, - According to the Pakistani army, as a result of intense firefight and artillery fire from the Afghan border guards, 6 civilians were killed and 17 of them were injured. It is reported by Reuters on December 12.

Pakistani troops struck back at the Chaman border crossing in the southwestern province of Balochistan. Nur Ahmad, an Afghan official in Kandahar, a province on the Afghan side of the border, told Reuters that the incident was accidental and the situation returned to normal after the two sides met. He did not provide any details about the losses on the Afghan side.

Afghan security sources said the clash began after Pakistani border guards demanded that Afghan forces stop building a new checkpoint on their side of the border.

A Pakistani army statement describes the incident as "misplaced aggression" and states that Pakistani troops responded proportionately by avoiding attacking civilians on the other side:

"Afghan border troops fired indiscriminately with heavy weapons, including artillery and mortars, at the civilian population."

Pakistan appealed to Kabul with a demand to take measures to avoid a recurrence of the incident. The busy Afghan border crossing at Chaman, used for trade and transit, was closed for several hours before reopening. The crossing was closed for several days last month after similar clashes.

Shootout on Afghan-Pakistani border kills civilians