PESHAWAR: Pakistani officials accused up to 60 Afghan soldiers on Monday of crossing into Pakistani territory and sparking clashes that killed two tribesman.
It was the latest in a series of escalating cross-border attacks reported in Afghanistan and Pakistan that are inflaming tensions along the porous border as NATO prepares to end its combat mission against the Taliban in 2014.
In Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt, security officials said two tribesmen were killed in Upper Kurram district in clashes with 60 Afghan army soldiers.
Another tribesman was also wounded “after they traded fire with Afghan army soldiers on seeing them inside Pakistani territory,” a senior official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The clashes lasted for more than 90 minutes after which security forces were sent to the area on the Afghan border, he said.
Local residents said the Afghans were pursuing attackers fleeing Shehar-e-Nau village in Paktia province.
A spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security intelligence agency said cross-border fire had killed four people, including a woman and a child, and wounded six others, in the last week.
Both countries blame each other for harbouring Taliban fighters active on both sides of their 2,400 kilometre border, fanning distrust between Kabul and Islamabad, and complicating a peace process in Afghanistan.
Kabul threatened to report Islamabad to the UN Security Council over what it alleges is the shelling of villages, while Islamabad said it would protest formally to Kabul against the latest incursion.