Army kills 50 Afghan forces in border fight

Pakistan's military said its forces killed more than 50 Afghan soldiers and destroyed five checkpoints in heavy fighting along their disputed border, a claim quickly rejected by Kabul.

An Afghan envoy on Monday contradicted Pakistani military claims it killed as many as 50 Afghan soldiers during a recent deadly border feud and slammed the jingoistic tone of Pakistani media that "celebrated" the killings.

The fighting in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, and the conflicting accounts of what happened, highlighted the hair-trigger state of relations that persist between the two Muslim-majority countries, despite recent diplomatic overtures by Pakistan to fix ties strained by years of mistrust over terrorist and insurgent activities in the region. They say the Afghan government had been notified and given the coordinates of the border villages, where the census workers were going door to door.

The Wesh-Chaman border crossing is a major border crossing between the two countries.

Over 50 Afghan nationals were killed on Sunday in retaliation of Pakistan Army against Afghan troops' bid to capture houses along the Line of Control in Pakistani territory.

In response to border clashes, people living in the villages situated near the Chaman border started to move out to safer places after authorities advised it was no longer safe for them to stay.




Khaama Press quoted Sediqi as saying that the claims are absolutely wrong and the Afghan government strongly rejects the claims.

According to a U.S. watchdog, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR): "Casualties suffered by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in the fight against the Taliban and other insurgents continue to be shockingly high".

To a question about Afghan attack on border areas, he said that the Afghan government had been informed through diplomatic channels that national census was being conducted in Pakistan and the teams would be visiting the border areas for the goal. Totally unprovoked, malicious and senseless attack on Pakistani villagers is tantamount to drowning the goodwill and sincerity shown by Pakistani officials in the blood of innocent civilians.

However, the officials said the fighting lasted for the entire day. Instead, militants with sanctuaries on either side of the border often use one of many other unofficial crossings along the frontier. He says the situation is calm but that the border crossing in the area is still closed.

The clashes prompted thousands of families to flee the area, he said.

He believes the only way out of the current problem is for the countries to pursue diplomacy and work together to ensure the safety of the local residents.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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