Clashes hit Pakistan-Afghanistan border

Pakistani Taliban faction says it carried out attack on border post as suicide attack is ‘foiled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’.

Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossings closed
Pakistani authorities have sealed the main border crossings with Afghanistan [EPA]

Islamabad, Pakistan – Eight people, including two soldiers, have been killed in a raid on a Pakistani military border post in the Khyber tribal area, according to the Pakistan military.

The raid was launched from Afghan territory on Friday and resulted in the killing of six attackers and two Pakistani soldiers.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Jamaat-ur-Ahrar faction claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement issued via email to media, claiming it had attacked three border posts, capturing one.

“One of the Pakistani forces’ posts was defeated by the mujahideen and set on fire,” said Asad Mansoor, spokesman for the group.

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Pakistan shares a largely unpatrolled 2,500km-long mountainous border with Afghanistan, which the latter disputes.

Afghanistan rejects the colonial-era Durand Line border drawn up in 1893 and does not want a solid recognition of the boundary.

In a second incident in the Khyber tribal area on Friday, a military operation in Rajgal Valley killed “several” fighters, according to the Pakistani military media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

An ISPR statement said troops acted on a tip-off on the presence of the leader of banned armed group, Lashkar-e-Islam, in the area.


Also on Friday, Pakistan’s military said it had foiled an attempted suicide attack on a paramilitary training centre in Shabqadar, in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Two suicide bombers and a soldier were killed in the attempted attack, while another soldier was wounded, the military said.

Since a wave of violence in February claimed more than 130 lives across Pakistan, authorities there have sealed the main border crossings with Afghanistan, blaming that country for giving sanctuary to Pakistani Taliban fighters.

Afghanistan denies the charge, and has long accused Pakistan of providing sanctuary to Afghan armed groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network.

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On Thursday, Sartaj Aziz, foreign policy adviser to the Pakistani prime minister, and Haneef Atmar, the Afghan national security adviser, met for talks in London aimed at ending the latest impasse.

“Discussions were substantive, constructive, forward-looking and resultful,” said Omar Zakhilwal, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan, in a statement following the meeting.

“The success of this important meeting certainly will be judged by the common people of our two respective countries as to how this, in practical terms, responds to their aspiration for good neighbourly relations, peace and their wellbeing.”

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Source: Al Jazeera