10 civilians die, 42 injured in cross-border Afghan firing in Chaman
CHAMAN: At least 10 civilians martyred while 42 were injured including women and children in an unprovoked firing and shelling from Afghan side of the border in Chaman in the wee hours of Friday, ARY News reported.
Pakistani authorities have closed the Chaman border crossing with Afghanistan to stop all cross border movement after unprovoked shelling and firing from the other side of the border.
Four Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan personnel were also among the injured.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan Army media wing, Afghan Border Police opened fire on FC Balochistan personnel who were deployed in the area to provide security to the Population Census team.
The statement further added that since 30th April, the Afghan Border Police had been creating hurdles in conduct of census in two villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Chaman area, on Pakistani side of the border.
The statement also added that Afghan authorities had been informed in advance about the ongoing census.
Afg Bdr Police opens fire on FC tps detailed for security of Census in a village along Chaman Bdr. 1 Civ Shaheed,18 incl 4 FC sldrs injured. pic.twitter.com/ce6hdqQzuu
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) May 5, 2017
Moreover, the cross-border shelling and firing was reportedly started around 4:00am, in which the Afghan forces used light and heavy weapons.
Frontier Corps and Levies personnel reached the spot and giving a befitting response to Afghan forces’ aggression. The exchange of fire is still ongoing in the area, sources said.
The sources further said one of the mortar shell fired from Afghan side hit a house in village bordering Afghanistan, injuring seven people including two women and three children.
All the injured were rushed to district hospital where at least two injured who sustained serious injuries referred to hospital at Quetta.
In aftermath of the abrupt attack by Afghan forces, security at Quetta-Chaman road has been beefed up to prevent any possible terror movement.
However, the identification of injured and dead could not be established.
It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan had closed its borders with Afghanistan at Chaman and Torkham on February 18 by lodging a protest with neighbouring country after a series of terrorist attacks in the country, killing over 100 people and the militants taking sanctuaries in Afghanistan were blamed for the attacks.
The border closure resulted in massive economic loss and affected Afghan trade enormously. After over a month of closure, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had ordered the reopening of the borders as a goodwill gesture.
PM condemns ‘the most unfortunate incident’
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif condemned the grave incident of firing by Afghan Border Police at Pakistan-Afghanistan border. In a statement, he expressed his profound grief and sorrow over the loss of precious human lives injuries caused to the civilian and personnel of Law Enforcement agencies.
Terming the incident as most unfortunate, the PM said that recurring of such incidents is contrary to our efforts for achieving peace and stability in the region. The PM further said that it is the responsibility of Afghan government to ensure that such incidents are permanently stopped.
Nawaz extended his heartfelt condolences and sympathies with the affected families and directed the concerned authorities for treatment of the injured.