One dead as fresh clashes erupt between Afghan, Pakistani border forces

The last months have seen an uptick in border violence between the two countries, especially at the key trade route of Chaman.

 People douse a cargo supply truck after it was hit during the artillery shelling, in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman (photo credit: REUTERS)
People douse a cargo supply truck after it was hit during the artillery shelling, in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Clashes erupted once again between the border forces of Afghanistan and Pakistan near the key Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing on Thursday, resulting in one death and over a dozen injuries, Pakistani officials said.

Previously, cross-border shelling and gunfire killed eight Pakistani civilians and one Afghan soldier on Sunday near the same crossing, which connects Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan with the southern Afghan province of Kandahar.

The fighting started during repair operations

Thursday's fighting started when Pakistani forces repairing a portion of the border fence damaged during Sunday's clashes came under attack from the Afghan side of the frontier, a provincial official in Balochistan, Zahid Saleem, told Reuters.

Both sides blamed each other for instigating Sunday's clashes.

Afghanistan's ministry of defense, run by the Taliban administration, said in a post on Twitter that Pakistani forces had opened fire first, and called for a resolution of the issue through negotiations.

 Taliban fighters hold an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan flag on the first anniversary of the fall of Kabul on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 15, 2022. (credit:  REUTERS/ALI KHARA) Taliban fighters hold an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan flag on the first anniversary of the fall of Kabul on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 15, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/ALI KHARA)

"Negative actions and creating excuses for war will benefit no one," the ministry said.

Saleem, who is additional chief secretary of the province, said Afghan mortar shells had landed in civilian settlements on the Pakistani side.

"One civilian has been killed and 12 others, including women and children, were injured," a local official of the Pakistani border area of Chaman said, adding that clashes were still ongoing.

The police spokesman of the Afghan province of Kandahar did not reply to a Reuters request for comment on the casualties.

Similar clashes in the past

Afghanistan and Pakistan have for decades had territorial disputes at their border and the Chaman crossing was closed for several days after similar clashes last month.

"Negative actions and creating excuses for war will benefit no one."

Afghanistan Ministry of Defense

Chaman-Spin Boldak is the second busiest crossing between the two countries and a key trade route through which large quantities of critical goods move in and out of landlocked Afghanistan.