Cross-border artillery hearth by Pakistan killed at the least 15 civilians in Afghanistan on Thursday, Afghan officers mentioned, prompting Kabul to place its floor and air forces on alert.
The artillery hearth got here after clashes between Pakistani and Afghan safety forces on the closed Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing, the place crowds on either side have been ready to cross for the Muslim competition of Eid al-Adha.
“If the Pakistani military continues its rocket attacks on Afghan territory, they will face retaliation by the Afghan army,” Afghanistan’s defence ministry mentioned in an announcement.
Pakistan’s international workplace and army didn’t instantly reply to Reuters` requests for remark, however Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi advised reporters that the matter had been taken up with Afghan authorities and hoped it might be resolved amicably.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are each U.S. allies however their relations have hardly ever been shut.
Afghanistan has for years accused Pakistan of supporting Taliban militants. Pakistan denies doing so and in flip accuses Afghanistan of supporting militants combating the Pakistani authorities.
The governor of the southeastern Afghan province of Kandahar, Hayatullah Hayat, mentioned the shells fell in residential areas of Spin Boldak and that girls and kids have been among the many 15 useless and 80 wounded.
Hospital officers in Pakistan advised Reuters three our bodies and 20 folks struggling bullet wounds had been introduced after the clashes between protesters and safety forces.
They exchanged hearth when crowds ready to cross into Afghanistan turned unruly and attacked Pakistani installations, a Pakistani official mentioned.
The crossing, largely closed to pedestrians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, was briefly opened on Wednesday and was to open once more Thursday to permit nationals of each international locations to cross for Eid, which falls on Friday in Afghanistan and Saturday in Pakistan.
When it didn’t open, a big crowd gathered to protest, and a quarantine centre and a Pakistani authorities facility for processing motion on the crossing have been burned down, a Pakistani official on the border advised Reuters.
An official of the Chaman administration, Zakaullah Durrani, advised Reuters that the state of affairs on the border remained tense.