UPDATES DEATH TOLL OF PAKISTANI TROOPS KILLED TO 6, EDITS THROUGHOUT, HEADLINE CHANGED
By Shadi Khan Saif and Aamir Latif
KABUL, Afghanistan/ KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Eight people, including six Pakistani border troops were killed during ongoing border clashes between Afghanistan and Pakistan on Sunday, according to officials.
Both sides gave conflicting death tolls and 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 two Pakistani border troops were killed and six others injured in the clash.
The ISPR also accused Afghanistan of opening fire on Pakistani troops in the country’s Kurram Agency when they 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.
Initially, Afghan National Police interim chief Col. Abdul Hanan told Anadolu Agency an Afghan civilian was killed and two Pakistani troops were arrested during the clash.
Later, Afghan provincial administration spokesman Talib Mangal said six Pakistani troops, an Afghan border guard and a civilian were killed during an exchange of fire at the Lando Ghar, Nazo Ghar and Khawna Ghonday mountains.
Mangal said three Pakistani guards were also taken into custody.
Col. Hanan added that local villagers and the Afghan Border Police retaliated with gunfire.
Clashes are still underway, he 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.