10 killed in Afghan attack on Chaman

Published: May 5, 2017
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The Afghan forces used heavy artillery to fire upon the Pakistani side of the border.  PHOTO: PPI

The Afghan forces used heavy artillery to fire upon the Pakistani side of the border. PHOTO: PPI

QUETTA/ISLAMABAD/LANDIKOTAL: At least 10 people, including women, children and a Frontier Corps (FC) man, were killed and 47 injured after Afghan border forces resorted to ‘unprovoked’ firing at Pakistani troops guarding a census team on Friday.

The incident occurred in the Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir villages of Chaman, which straddle the border and have been a source of controversy between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kabul claims the villages are part of the war-torn country’s Spin Boldak district, an assertion Pakistan flatly denies.

“Afghan Border Police opened fire on FC [troops] detailed for security of the census team,” a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

“Since April 30, Afghan Border Police has been creating hurdles in the conduct of census in divided villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Chaman area on the Pakistani side of the border… despite the fact that Afghan authorities were informed well in advance and coordination was carried out through diplomatic and military channels for conduct of census,” the military’s media wing added.

Pakistani forces deployed in Chaman returned fire and injured two Afghan security officials. Both sides rushed reinforcements to the border and Pakistani authorities closed the Chaman crossing indefinitely once again. Pakistan had closed the border with Afghanistan for a month after a series of terrorist attacks across the country left around 100 people dead.

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An emergency was declared at the government-run hospital in Chaman where the deceased and most of the wounded were taken to.

“Nine bodies of women, children and men have been brought here so far,” Dr Muhammad Akhtar, the hospital’s deputy superintendent, said. “Forty-seven injured, including four FC men, were also brought to the hospital,” he told The Express Tribune.

“Four children, two women and three men were killed in the attack. All of them were civilians,” Dr Akhtar added.

One of the four FC personnel injured in the attack succumbed to his injuries during treatment late on Friday night, taking the death toll to 10.

Security officials said the Afghan forces used both light and heavy weapons, including mortars.

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Commissioner Quetta Division Amjad Ali Khan also confirmed the killing of 10 people and injuries to at least 47 others, including women and children.

“Seven people with serious injuries have been admitted to the trauma centre,” said Civil Hospital, Quetta Medical Superintendent Dr Fareed Sumalani. “Most of them were injured in heavy exchange of fire from early morning till late afternoon.”

“Mortar shells killed and injured people in Bograh and Guldan areas on the outskirts of Chaman,” a senior police officer Sajid Mohmand said.

“A mortar shell hit a house on the outskirts of Chaman town, injuring three persons,” a senior security official said, adding that the majority of the people killed and injured were hit by mortar shells.

The residents of Killi Luqman, Killi Jahangir and Badshah Adda Kahol of Killa Abdullah evacuated their homes after the heavy shelling, he said, adding that many houses were damaged in the attack.

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Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri has strongly condemned the attack by Afghan forces. He said, “Moral of the Chaman people is high despite the attack.”

He paid a visit to the Civil Hospital, Quetta and inquired after the health of the injured. He announced Rs150 million aid for the people affected by the Afghan forces’ attack.

The Quetta commissioner also said the people who have been rendered homeless will be aided. “Tents and relief goods are being provided to the homeless families,” he said.

A large number of people evacuated their homes and shifted to Chaman and other towns of Killa Abdullah.

Balochistan Census Commissioner Mohammad Ashraf said, “Census work will resume after the situation calms down.”

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Measures have been taken for the safety of the people.

“All schools and educational institutions have been closed in the entire district,” Deputy Commissioner Qaiser Khan Nasir said.

Following the bloody clashes at the border, army troops moved towards the border to beef up security, an official announcement said.

Interior minister calls IG FC

Following the attack, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called via telephone Inspector General of FC Balochistan Major General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum. Anjum briefed the minister about the Chaman incident.

The interior minister strongly condemned the firing incident initiated by the Afghan forces and observed that the security agencies of Afghan government, who cannot control their own territory, have set a bad precedent by cross-border shelling, targeting innocent civilians.

He said the valiant response from the Pakistan Army and FC to this unprovoked cross-border shelling would discourage such tendencies in the future.

Nisar expressed his heartfelt condolence over the martyrdom of an FC personnel.

The interior minister said the action of the Afghan forces – at the behest of someone else – was neutralised as a result of effective and immediate response from the army and FC.

Clashes continue

After skirmishes on the Chaman side, security officials said Pakistani posts on Torkham also came under fire from Afghanistan. The Pakistan Army retaliated in the same fashion.

There was an initial announcement to close down the Torkham border and a curfew was clamped, but a second order said business will continue as routine on Saturday (today).

A senior official of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas Secretariat told The Express Tribune that the firing started from the Afghan side on posts in Torkham border from Shamshad Sar Post up to Javed Post (Afghan posts). Pakistani troops had retaliated from Ayub Chota Frontier, Torkham. Small and heavy weapons were used. Firing started at about 8:30pm and lasted for 40 minutes. There were no reports of casualty or loss, said the official.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Aware Citizen
    May 5, 2017 - 10:19AM

    Now Afghanistan has reached the level to show eyes to Pakistan. Decades we kept opened border and milking Afghans. Now what we planted now we eating. Recommend

  • Pukubanger
    May 5, 2017 - 10:27AM

    As you sow, so you reap. Recommend

  • HAK
    May 5, 2017 - 10:40AM

    Its time that Pakistan wash its hands of Afghanistan and its people. We have made more than an enough effort with Mr Ghani, the rest is up to them. Chaman should remain closed no matter how much pressure the UK and US put on us.Recommend

  • Saghri
    May 5, 2017 - 12:45PM

    The Afghan Border Guards were telling the Census Team to go away. it was on social media as of Yesterday. May be the team has returned & the fight started today. Looks like Afghans are logging for converting the undeclared war into declared war, Recommend

  • Saleem Khan
    May 5, 2017 - 12:56PM

    Its unfortunate, that Afghans Executives have been playing in the hands of Indians. We Pakistan have bore the burden of our Muslim brothers (Afghan refugees) for more then 35 years, but their response to Pakistan is very deplorable. Afghan brothers must re-think ” Is that Behavior Pakistan deserve form Afghan side? “. Recommend

  • Shakeel Mahota
    May 5, 2017 - 1:10PM

    The attack by Afghan Security forces on border with Chaman clearly reveals India’s plan to destabilize Balochistan which is about to witness the most spectacular development phenomenon under CPEC. I think Indian game is rather so obvious that it should desist from such nefarious acts through gullible Afghans. I also pity Afghans who may be for short term benefits are spoiling long term relations with their neighbor Pakistan, a neighbor who despite its limited resources hosted millions of Afghans for decades. May be India also wants Pak-Afghan relations to be damaged beyond repair. Afghans must awake to the deadly Indian trap they are falling into…Recommend

  • Mekal Faruki
    May 5, 2017 - 1:45PM

    PAF must demolish all Afghan artillery units within striking range of Pakistan border.Recommend

  • asif
    May 5, 2017 - 2:02PM

    I wholeheartedly condemn Afghan attitude towards my country. Having said this, there is also a need to take a review of our national security and diplomacy. Pakistan faces a critical threat, we have hostile borders both towards East and West. That is where i find gross failure of our leaders. They are not only responsible for war making and creating conflicts. The real test of a leader and a policy is to lead the nation towards peace. It is a wake up call. Our policies are taking us towards destruction. Recommend

  • Khan
    May 5, 2017 - 2:18PM

    We have been feeding them for decades and that’s what we get in return…Pakistan Army should keep the border closed…for everRecommend

  • Abdul basit
    May 5, 2017 - 2:43PM

    This is a heinous act by the afghans …. And I think the Pakistan should focus their foreign policy on central Asian States and African states to explore new markets instead of just wasting their time on afghans……
    Afghans will itself realise WHO IS WHO AND WHAT IS WHAT …. Leave them !!!!!Recommend

  • Shahid
    May 5, 2017 - 2:49PM

    @HAK:
    So you admited India’s funding Ghani againdt Pakistan..Recommend

  • Shahid
    May 5, 2017 - 2:56PM

    Afghanis love Pakistan, only ruling elite is an Indian pulpit.Recommend

  • Omar Sadiq
    May 5, 2017 - 3:20PM

    8 killed by who???? The Afghanis????? Unbelievable and what does the FO mean, “Pakistan reserves the right to respond to preserve its sovereignty and protect its civilians.” Action should have been taken when the first shot was fired from across the border.Recommend

  • Amit
    May 5, 2017 - 3:28PM

    Few days back Iran did it then Afghanistan and India is ever ready for the action. So effectively Pakistan has all its border activated.Recommend

  • Javed Afghan
    May 5, 2017 - 3:32PM

    @Shakeel Mahota:
    Afghan Taliban is in Quetta and Peshawar and Karachi for 17 years now and you are calling that helping afghans ?

    Hypocrisy at its finest!Recommend

  • M.Sethi
    May 5, 2017 - 3:40PM

    No holds bar strike them back in full force !

    No way,theyor any other should be allowed to get the impression,that they could violate the sovereignty of Pakistan,without a strong retaliation coming back their way !Recommend

  • NK
    May 5, 2017 - 4:23PM

    Shame on Afghanistan!!! Thanklessness of the highest order!!

    Seal the damn border and keep it that way!!Recommend

  • Sajid Ansari
    May 5, 2017 - 5:13PM

    Pakistan should immediately stop the export of all eatables and food grains to Afghanistan. The borders should be sealed and the smugglers of food grains and eatables should be shot dead on sight. This is the only way of bringing Afghanistan govt to their knees and to behave properly. Recommend

  • Alter Ego
    May 5, 2017 - 6:48PM

    Throw every Afghan out.
    Each and every one.
    Stop the transfer of grain and eatables to Afghanistan.
    Strike back using full force.
    A most ungrateful nation.Recommend

  • sterry
    May 5, 2017 - 8:56PM

    Pakistan has suffered enough because of Afghanistan and its never ending games that it plays for its master in India. Why do the millions of Afghan refugees live in Pakistan and not in India? It just boggles the mind that they prefer to stay in Pakistan but are fully Indian stooges. It’s time to seal the border like the US is doing with Mexico. Send the Afghan refugees back to Kabul or let encourage European Union to take all of them to Germany to live on welfare. Pakistan cannot deal with the stress, economic hardship and terrorism caused by them. The pennies given by United Nations to house these refugees is hardly worth an ounce of the trouble caused by housing them for decades. Our leaders need to smarten up !Recommend

  • FAZ
    May 5, 2017 - 10:19PM

    @Omar Sadiq:
    Afghan Taliban are in China, Iran and Russia too.Recommend

  • Sabir
    May 6, 2017 - 1:12AM

    Used Thorkham formula. Push the Afghani forty kilometre back from the border area. Just blow up their post with picture of their hero. These hungry beast live on our bread and butter. Close all the borders for indefinitely time.Recommend

  • afghan
    May 6, 2017 - 9:43AM

    It is very wise for Pakistan not to try in this time of uncertainty to undermine the very strength of Afghan forces. Pakistan by doing wants to raise the issue of the so-called Durand line. Just a line not a boundary. Recommend

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