Pakistan, Afghanistan Add Troops to Border After Clash

Troops Fought Over Border Fence, Killing One on Each Side

by Jason Ditz, June 14, 2016

Both Pakistani and Afghan officials vowed to increase the number of troops deployed at the Khyber Pass, the main border crossing between the two nations, after the troops engaged in a battle yesterday over Pakistani plans to build a border fence.

The Afghan government rejects the current location of the border, and claims a large portion of northern Pakistan is actually theirs. A 19th century deal between British and Afghan officials set the Durand Line, which is the de facto border, though Afghans maintain it was only intended to be a line of control and not a proper border.

Pakistan was building a fence, roughly 30 meters into their own territory as far as they are concerned, as part of the border crossing. Afghan troops argued it was inside Afghanistan, and argument turned to shooting. An Afghan soldier was killed, and a Pakistani soldier died of his wounds the following day. Both sides saw several wounded.

Pakistan insists they intend to go through with building the border fence, saying it is necessary to curb the flow of militants back and forth across the notoriously porous border. Afghan officials don’t seem happy about it, but probably won’t be able to stop them in the long run.

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