Pakistani army: Afghan forces shell border town, killing 6
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Deadly shelling from Afghan forces killed 6 people in a border town on Sunday, Pakistan’s military…
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Deadly shelling from Afghan forces killed 6 people in a border town on Sunday, Pakistan’s military said, as relations continue to sour between the neighboring countries.
The violence hitting Chaman in southwestern Pakistan follows a series of deadly incidents and attacks that have skyrocketed tensions with Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers. Chaman is the main border crossing for trade between the countries.
The Pakistani army’s media wing said the fire wounded 17 people and blamed the casualties on the “unprovoked and indiscriminate fire” of heavy weapons by Afghan forces on civilians.
In Afghanistan, a spokesman for Kandahar’s governor, Ataullah Zaid, appeared to link the clashes between Pakistani and Taliban forces with the construction of new checkpoints on the Afghan side of the border. He said one Taliban fighter was killed and 10 were wounded. Three civilians were also injured, he added.
Pakistan’s army said troops responded to Afghan fire, but its media wing didn’t give further details. It said Pakistan has approached authorities in the Afghan capital, Kabul, to highlight the severity of the border incident.
A doctor with a government-run hospital in Chaman, Akhtar Mohammad, told The Associated Press that live rounds injured 27 people who were brought into hospital for treatment. Of these, six died and seven were in a critical condition.
A resident on Pakistan’s side of the border, Wali Mohammad took his wounded cousin to the hospital in Chaman. He said there were a number of explosions followed by rapid gunfire.
“We were in the street like any other day off when suddenly a big explosion was heard and debris hit many people, including one of my cousins,” said Mohammad.
A deadly shooting in November shuttered the border at Chaman for eight days, causing heavy commercial losses and leaving thousands of people stranded on both sides.
Later in the month, Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul came under gunfire. Pakistani officials called the incident an attack on its envoy there and blamed Taliban officials for the security breach. Islamabad also has said Afghanistan’s rulers are sheltering militants who carry out deadly attacks on its soil.
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