Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of killing at least 8 civilians in border clash
Kabul, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Afghanistan on Wednesday accused Pakistan of killing at least 8 civilians and injuring six others in mortar fire across the border in the eastern Kunar province, which resulted in a border clash between the two sides.
The clashes erupted around 1 pm in the Sarkano district after Pakistani troops targeted Afghan check points and villages with mortars, the provincial governor’s spokesperson Abdul Ghani Musamim alleged.
“So far in Pakistani forces’ mortar attacks, eight civilians (have been) martyred and six more injured,” Musamim told EFE.
Most of the rockets landed in the Sarkano district – where seven of the deaths took place – while two of them hit Asadabad, the capital of the Kunar province, killing one person and injuring two.
Musamim said that the Afghan forces also retaliated after Pakistani firing.
The clashes had largely ended by 4 pm after three hours of intense confrontation, but sporadic mortar fire continued from the Pakistani side, the spokesperson said.
No information was available about possible casualties among the Afghan troops or among the Pakistani security forces or civilians.
A provincial official told EFE on the condition of anonymity that the clashes broke out after the two militaries had a disagreement over construction of new military facilities in the area.
Afghanistan and Pakistan have occasionally engaged in clashes along the disputed Durand Line in the past, but the skirmishes do not usually result in such a high number of civilian casualties.
The clashes usually break out after Pakistani forces try to build a fence or establish military facilities along the border and the Afghan troops attempt to prevent their construction.
Afghanstan does not officially recognize the 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) long Durand Line – demarcated in an agreement signed between the Afghans and the British in 1893 – claiming it has kept out significant Afghan population and territory. EFE-EPA