Worst border clashes in years: Are Afghanistan and Pakistan at war?

He held both India and Afghanistan responsible for tensions in Chaman.

Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Aamir Riaz on Sunday said Pakistani artillery retaliated to the Afghan forces' attack with full might and destroyed from four to five check posts of Afghanistan. The latest round of clashes is a risky escalation in tensions between the two uneasy neighbors who share a 2,200 kilometer (1,375-mile) porous border.

"Residents are anxious that fighting could start any minute because security forces remain in the area".

In yet another tragic episode on the Durand Line, the worldwide border that separates Pakistan from Afghanistan, the Afghan forces - without provocation - started shelling at the Chaman border on Friday.

Talking about the issue of border management, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Pak-Afghan border is internationally recognized border and its management is vital to control terrorism.

Ten Pakistani civilians were killed and more than 40 people, including women and children, were injured in the firing by Afghan forces. He said mostly civilians were harmed in the attack.

Gen. Nadeem Ahmad Anjum, told journalists at the border crossing that two Pakistani soldiers were killed and nine wounded in the fighting, which began Friday.

But Sediq Siddiqi, a senior spokesman for the Kabul government, said Sunday he "totally rejected" as "very false" the Pakistani claim of 50 Afghan dead.

While addressing a press conference the IG stated that Afghan forces infiltrated Pakistani territory and used civilians as shields.

In turn, the Pakistani military said Afghanistan border guards were creating "hurdles" for census-taking "despite the fact that Afghan authorities had been informed well in advance" of the process.

He said the claims that 50 Afghan troops were killed are absolutely wrong and the Afghan government strongly rejects the claims. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reportedly turned down a recent Pakistani invitation to visit Islamabad. The line runs through the traditional homeland of the Pashtun ethnic group, which dominates Afghanistan and the border provinces of Pakistan. Each country says the other turns a blind eye to militant sanctuaries.

  • Joey Payne