Pakistan: Afghan Taliban shell border town, killing civilian

Pakistani authorities say one person was killed and at least 11 injured when Afghan Taliban fighters fired mortars toward the civilians near the southwestern Chaman border crossing

Abdul Sattar
Thursday 15 December 2022 10:51 GMT

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Louise Thomas

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Pakistani authorities on Thursday said one person was killed and 11 were wounded when Afghan Taliban forces fired mortars toward civilians near the southwestern Chaman border crossing, reflecting increasing tension between the neighboring nations.

The latest violence follows a series of deadly incidents and attacks that have strained relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers in recent months. It was not immediately clear what preceded the shots near Chaman, a key trade route between the two sides.

Thursday's ongoing violence came days after seven Pakistani civilians were killed in the across-border shelling by the Taliban forces. No military spokesman was immediately available for comment and there was also no comment from the Afghan Taliban.

Akhtar Mohammad, a doctor at a hospital in Chaman, said staff there received 12 wounded people following the clashes. One of them later died and some of the injured were listed in critical condition.

Abdul Hameed Zehri, a government administrator in the town of Chaman in Baluchistan province, also confirmed the casualties. Security officials say Pakistan’s army responded to the Afghan fire, but did not give further details.

Authorities say hundreds of Pakistani villagers had moved to safer places, which is adjacent to Afghanistan's Kandahar province.

Afghanistan’s Taliban seized the Afghan capital of Kabul last year. Since then, the countries have traded fire mainly over lingering disputes about Pakistan's construction of a fence along the Afghan border.

Earlier this month, Pakistan’s Embassy in Kabul came under gunfire in an attack that was later claimed by the Islamic State group. Pakistani officials at the time had called the incident an attack on its envoy there. Islamabad also has said Afghanistan’s rulers are sheltering militants who carry out deadly attacks on its soil.

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