Afghan Forces Fire on Census Workers, Killing 9

Inspector General of Frontier Corps Major Gen Nadeem Ahmed yesterday claimed 50 Afghan soldiers were killed and over 100 injured in retaliatory firing by the army after the attack on Pakistani census workers by Afghan forces in Balochistan province last week.

Pakistan's military on Sunday said it had killed more than 50 Afghan soldiers in a clash on a major border crossing two days earlier, a claim quickly rejected by Kabul.

Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesman Nafeez Zakaria said the census workers were on their side of the border when Afghan forces opened fire.

An Afghan spokesman from the Kandahar police, Ghurzang Afridi, told DPA news agency that the Pakistani census team had worked on the Afghan side of the border.

Pakistan on Friday summoned the Afghanistan Embassy's Charge d' Affairs to lodge a strong protest over the unprovoked firing by Afghan forces in the Chaman area, which it said has resulted in the martyrdom of several Pakistani citizens and injuring many, including women and children.

Nadim said tensions between Afghan and Pakistani border forces are bad for both countries.

Skirmishes on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan have not been as frequent as on its eastern border with India but there have been occasional firefights, mostly due to a disputed border.

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Replying to another question, he said that Pakistan government was trying its level best to mend the situation.

The attack Friday was near the Chaman border crossing into Pakistan's Balochistan province.

"We are not pleased to announce this but the Afghan commanders are responsible for this", he told reporters in reference to Chaman border's deadly incident.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to conduct a geological survey on Monday at Chaman border in order to determine the correct boundaries on both sides.

Relatives move a boy who was injured during border clashes between Pakistan and Afghanistan forces on the border area, at a hospital in Chaman, Pakistan, May 5, 2017. Kabul claims the villages are part of the war-torn country's Spin Boldak district, an assertion Pakistan flatly denies.

Two thousand camps have been formed five kilometers away from the border for the people who have evacuated their homes after the attack of Afghan forces, and every possible facility is being provided to them. But the Pakistani officials confirmed that the areas were situated within the Pakistani territory which could be verified from the Google maps.

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