Casualties Reported In Pak-Afghan Border Troops Gunfire, Border Closed

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Ashrafuddin Pirzada
TORKHAM: Pak-Afghan border Torkham was closed after the situation went tense, followed by the heavy gun firing between Pakistan and Afghanistan forces over the construction of a bunker on the Afghan side of Torkham border on Wednesday, officials said.

An official performing duty at the Torkham border told Fata Voice News Agency on the condition of anonymity that Emarat-e-Islami Afghanistan was constructing a bunker on a hilltop near the border.

He said Pakistani authorities requested the Afghan government to stop constructing the bunker, which was a violation of international law, but they insisted and failed to accept their request.

“Both Pakistani and Afghan officials had held talks but failed to reach a consent and all of a sudden Afghan troops opened gun firing and fired motorshells targetting Pakistan’s side of the border”, said the official.

The official said several Motor Shells were fired from the Afghan side landing in customs, FIA, and other offices. He added that a motorshell also hit the mosque on the Pakistani side of the border while another landed in the Bacha Mena border village in Pakistani Torkham locality. However, no casualty was reported there.

He said gun firing started at 2 p.m., which was continued for around three hours. Frontier Corps(FC) Sepoy identified as Maqsood sustained bullet injuries. He was taken to hospital.

Meanwhile, thousands of passengers, including patients, women and children, and empty and loaded trucks, stacked on the sides of the border. Hundreds of government and private offices were also closed down due to fear of being a victim of cross-firing.

It was learnt that two Afghan border police were also killed in the exchange of firing.

Residents of the border village of Bacha Mena started evacuation to shift from Torkham towards safe places.

Residents urged the high authorities to resolve the matter with table talks and stop the use of weapons against each other as both sides were Muslim brother countries. The border remained closed until filing this report.