Pakistan Shells Afghan Border Troops as Tensions Rise

Pakistani Military: Afghan Troops Fired on Construction Workers

by Jason Ditz, June 15, 2016

The Pakistani military’s attempt to build a border fence, which by Pakistani reckoning is 30 meters inside of Pakistani territory, continues to be a flashpoint for fighting along the Khyber Pass border with Afghanistan, and sparked more fighting today, including the introduction of Pakistani heavy artillery to shell the Afghan border guards.

The two nations began clashing at the crossing Monday, with Afghan troops trying to stop the fence being built, claiming it is in Afghan territory. Afghanistan does not accept the Durand Line as the official border, and claims a massive part of Pakistan is theoretically theirs.

The Monday fighting saw one soldier die on each side, and Afghan forces claimed another soldier killed Tuesday night. Afghan officials declined any fighting surrounding today’s artillery fire, and there was no news of any deaths on either side.

Pakistan insists they only started shelling when the construction crew returned to try to build the fence and were once again fired on by Afghan troops, which Afghanistan denies. Afghan officials say a “ceasefire” has been reached, though both sides have claimed several ceasefires in the past 48 hours and none have lasted very long.

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