UPDATE - 2 Pakistani troops killed in Afghanistan border clash

Clashes between Afghan, Pakistani forces continue along disputed Durand Line; 1 civilian has also been killed


By Aamir Latif and Shadi Khan Saif

KARACHI, Pakistan/KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) - Two Pakistani troops were killed and five others injured during ongoing clashes along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan on Sunday, according to officials.

Both sides accused each other of opening fire on their troops along the disputed 2,430-kilometer (1,510-mile) long border region known as the Durand Line, which is named after the British colonial officer Sir Mortimer Durand who drew it between the then British India and Afghanistan in 1896.

Pakistani military’s media wing ISPR told Anadolu Agency that Pakistani border troops had come under fire in the country’s Kurram Agency.

The ISPR accused Afghanistan of opening fire when Pakistani troops were carrying out routine surveillance along the Pak-Afghan border and making necessary preparations for starting fencing of that area.

“Pakistani troops are exercising maximum restraint so as to avoid any Afghan civilian casualties. Mil [military] engagement is underway to defuse situation,” the ISPR said in a statement.

Earlier, an Afghan official said two Pakistani border guards were arrested and an Afghan civilian was killed during the clashes along Afghanistan's Khost province, which lies next to the tribal belt in Pakistan.

Col. Abdul Hanan, interim chief of the Afghan National Police, told Anadolu Agency clashes broke out in the morning when Pakistani border forces allegedly opened fire at villages in Zazi Maiden district along the Durand Line.

He added that local villagers and the Afghan Border Police retaliated with gunfire.

Clashes are still underway, Col. Hanan said.

According to Azadi Radio, Pakistani forces are shelling Afghan border posts in Zazi Maiden. It added that hundreds of mortars had been fired by Pakistani forces on another Afghan province of Kunar since early April.

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