Clash between Afghanistan-Pakistan security forces: Torkham border remains shut for another day
The Torkham border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan remained closed for the second consecutive day on Thursday following clashes between security forces of the neighbouring countries this week.
Trucks, laden with goods, have been seen standing close to the border.
Officials in Pakistan had blamed the other side for starting the midday firefight, which lasted for around two hours and came after the Afghan authorities started building a checkpoint on their side in a prohibited area, close to the main border crossing, reports Dawn News.
The officials said the Afghan authorities already had a checkpoint in the vicinity, commonly known as the Larram Post, but they started building another post over a small hill without discussing it with the Pakistani side.
They said border security officials had also held a meeting minutes before the crossfire began.
The agenda of the meeting and the reason behind the security forces opening fire is still not known.
Abdul Basir Zabuli, a spokesman for the Taliban-led police in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, where the crossing lies, told Dawn News that authorities from both countries were trying to determine the reason for the clash.
The crossing remains the main and crucial transit point for travellers and goods between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Jamshed Khan, a Customs agent at Torkham, had told Dawn News on Wednesday that everyone near the Torkham border crossing immediately vacated their workplaces and ran for cover when the firing started.
He said that it was not clear which side initiated the firing.
“First, we heard the sound of firing from small weapons and then heavy weapons were also used from both sides,” he said, adding that the incident caused panic among clearing agents, transporters and ordinary people, with drivers of loaded and empty vehicles trying to flee the troubled spot.
Sabir Khan, a resident of the Bacha Maina residential compound near the border, had told Dawn News that people had sent their families to safer locations in Landi Kotal when some projectiles fired from the Afghan side landed inside some homes.
He said the projectiles left minor marks on some houses, but no one was injured.