(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
PARACHINAR - Two Pakistani soldiers were killed in cross-border fire from Afghanistan while working on a fence intended to cover nearly all of the disputed 2,500km border separating the countries, the Pakistani military said on Sunday.
Though security has improved in Pakistan's remote areas bordering Afghanistan, sectarian militant attacks, primarily targeting Shi'ite Muslims, still occur.
"Pakistani troops are exercising maximum restraint so as to avoid any Afghan civilian casualties," the Pakistan Army's public relations department said, adding that five soldiers were wounded in the attack.
Afghan officials said that Pakistani troops crossed on to Afghan soil, prompting a response by border forces and the local tribal force.
"Two tribesmen were killed and the exchange of fire is ongoing," said Mohmud Zazai, a senior army commander in the area.
Pakistan has blamed Pakistani Taliban militants it says are based on Afghan soil for attacks that have taken place in the region over the past two years, urging Kabul to eradicate "sanctuaries" for militants.
Afghanistan, in turn, accuses Islamabad of sheltering the leadership of the Afghan Taliban militants who are battling the Western-backed government in Kabul.
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