Afghan Border Policeman Killed in Latest Torkham Clash

Afghan-police-Torkham-15-June-2016

One Afghan border policemen was killed and three others were wounded in a fresh clash at Torkham gate on Tuesday night, security officials said.

The clash started at 7:00pm local time and lasted for two hours after Pakistani military forces opened fire on Afghan border policemen, officials said.

The Pakistani border police also sustained casualties but full details have not been released, according to officials.

Sporadic fighting has been ongoing since Saturday between the two sides.

In total three Afghan policemen and two civilians have been killed in the clash. In addition 21 border police in total have been wounded.

Pakistan has however confirmed that one of its army officers was killed and a number of border police were injured.

On Tuesday, Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry (MoFA) said that the continuation of clashes in Torkham is not in Pakistan’s interests and Islamabad should stop violating the existing agreement.

“The best way to address the issue is through diplomatic ways,” said MoFA spokesman Shekib Mustaghni.

One of the key agreements between Kabul and Islamabad is that no military activities will take place in zero line (no man’s land) on the Durand Line. Kabul believes Islamabad violated this agreement.

A number of political analysts said that the Afghan government must lodge a complaint with the United Nations over these violations.

Clashes broke out Saturday in the Torkham area when Pakistani border forces allegedly started building a new installation at the gate. Afghan border forces took action to stop this.

Afghan officials said that the Pakistani military wanted to construct another gate in zero line. Clashes between the two sides then broke out.

This comes after Pakistani border police recently closed the border gate to Afghans without visas.

Hundreds of Afghan travelers, many of whom are medical tourists, cross through Torkham daily.

In the meantime, Pakistan’s Dawn News reported that the Pakistan army has moved heavy weaponry and additional troops close to Torkham on Monday night, said Pakistani security officials, who wished not to be identified because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

A senior military official has said that the gate at Torkham will now be built and at any cost, according to the report.

“If someone tries to create hindrance in the process, the army will retaliate with full force,” Dawn News quoting as the official said.

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