Days after Kabul’s “apology,” border clashes erupt once more


QUETTA: Armed clashes erupted on Thursday between security forces from Pakistan and Afghanistan at the border in Chaman, resulting in at least one death and 15 injuries, four days after Afghan authorities “apologized” to Islamabad for cross-border shelling that killed eight people.

In a proclamation, Between Administrations Advertising (ISPR) — the tactical’s media wing — said unpredictable fire from inside Afghanistan on the regular citizen populace of Chaman, that proceeded with discontinuously as the day progressed, left numerous blameless regular folks harmed.

ISPR stated, “The injured include innocent women and children.”

However, Kabul appeared to attribute the attack to Pakistan. The Taliban ministry of defense stated in a tweet that Pakistani forces had fired first and called for negotiations to resolve the matter.

The ministry stated, “Negative actions and making excuses for war will benefit no one.”

Dawn was informed by the Balochistan Additional Chief Secretary for Home and Tribal Affairs, Zahid Saleem, that fifteen people had been injured and at least one person had died.

Ten of the injured were admitted to the district hospital in Chaman, while five of the injured, who are said to be in serious condition and require intensive care, have been moved to the trauma center at Quetta’s Civil Hospital.

In addition, government hospitals in Quetta and Chaman declared an emergency.

Eight people were killed and more than a dozen were injured in a gun battle that took place in the area on Sunday, and at least one Afghan soldier was killed in the firefight as well.

Neither the Foreign Office nor Defense Minister Khawaja Asif provided any official information. Earlier this week, Asif told parliament that Kabul had expressed its apologies for the incident on Sunday and that they would take measures to prevent it from happening again.

The fighting on Thursday began when Afghan forces attacked Pakistani workers who were repairing a portion of the border fence that had been damaged in the clashes on Sunday.

A senior official with a position in the border town told Dawn that “Afghan forces opened fire when Pakistan border authorities started repairing the damaged fence near border village Sheikh Lal Khan.”

He said that security powers promptly brought fire back. In the gun battle, which lasted until late in the evening, both sides used heavy weapons.

Artillery and mortar shells fired by Afghan forces struck civilian areas, killing civilians.

Additionally, a mortar shell exploded close to a Frontier Corps fort; however, no fatalities were reported. The posts of Changez, Shoukat, Ilyas, and Tanveer were also targeted by Afghan forces.

A mortar shell that hit a settlement in the Reg area, west of Chaman, injured at least seven people in the border village of Killi Bacha.

Sources said that Pakistani powers answered by raising a ruckus around town Kandak region on the opposite side of the boundary, where Afghan powers had sent mounted guns and mortars.

The exchange of fire slowed down in the afternoon, but Afghan forces resumed firing in the evening. Pakistani forces responded in kind as this went on for about an hour.

The Friendship Gate between Chaman and Spin Boldak remained open until its scheduled closing time of 5:30 p.m., and border crossings and transit trade continued as usual throughout the day, despite the fact that Chaman Deputy Commissioner Abdul Hameed Zahri declared an emergency in the border district shortly after the attack from the Afghan side.

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