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'Friendship Gate' between Pakistan, Afghanistan closed after tension over its fencing

Pakistani officials said Afghan troops opened fire on Pakistani personnel who were erecting a fence along the border in the Tandah Dara Sarochahan area. There were no reports of casualties in the clash.

Reported by: PTI, Islamabad [ Published on: October 15, 2018 14:33 IST ]
Image Source : FILE

'Friendship Gate' between Pakistan, Afghanistan closed after tension over its fencing

A key border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan remained closed on Monday as the troops of the two countries exchanged fire after tensions over Pakistani officials fencing the border. 

The Friendship Gate near Chaman in Balochistan province in south-west was closed on Sunday after troops of the two sides exchanged fire about 60 km north of the border town of Chaman, with the clash lasting several hours, according to Dawn.

However, it was briefly opened on Sunday evening to let stranded people cross over.

Pakistani officials said Afghan troops opened fire on Pakistani personnel who were erecting a fence along the border in the Tandah Dara Sarochahan area. There were no reports of casualties in the clash.

After the incident, Pakistani border authorities closed the Friendship Gate near Chaman, leaving thousands of people stranded on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border.

The exchange of fire ended in the evening, the officials said. “The firing stopped late in the evening but the situation is still tense,” they said, adding that Pakistani officials deployed more troops to the area.

Pakistan has been erecting a fence along its western border to stop "illegal influx of terrorists and smugglers from Afghanistan who often use infrequent routes to enter Pakistan." 

Pakistan has already informed the Afghan government of its decision to build a border fence. However, Afghan officials in the Spin Buldak area raised objections to Islamabad’s decision. 

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