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8 killed, 38 injured in cross-border shelling by Afghan forces

CHAMAN: At least eight persons were killed while 28 others injured in a cross-border firing and shelling by Afghan forces in Chaman early Friday, according to security officials.

The forces opened fire on security personnel guarding a census team in Balochistan’s Chaman area, at around 4 am on Friday. Both light and heavy arms were used, according to reports.

According to a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Afghan Border Police opened fire on Frontier Corps (FC) personnel deployed for the security of a census team in Chaman, leaving one person dead and 18 injured, a death toll which has now risen to eight.

“Since 30th April, Afghan Border Police had been creating hurdles in [the] conduct of census in divided villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Chaman area, on Pakistani side of the border,” the military’s media wing said.

Large contingents of Frontier Corps and Levies reached the area as soon as the shelling started.

Pakistani security forces effectively responded to the firing and shelling from Afghan side.

A mortar shell, which fell on a house in a village close to Chaman border, left at least 38 civilians wounded. The injured also included three children.

They were shifted to a district hospital, from where two critically injured people were referred to Quetta.

ISPR said the incident happened despite the fact that the Afghan authorities had been informed of the census exercise in Pakistan beforehand.

The Chaman border crossing has been sealed as Pakistani and Afghan troops continue to exchange fire, the ISPR press release said.

In June 2016, an army major was martyred and two men wounded due to firing by the Afghan border forces at Torkham border crossing. The unprovoked fire had come at the time of construction of a gate inside Pakistani territory to check terrorists’ movement across the border.

The flare-ups at the border led to imposition of curfew in Landikotal and Torkham areas, restricting all sorts of transportation across the border. Nine civilians, including women and children, were also wounded in the incident.

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