Afghan forces shelling, firing on census team kills 9, injures 88 in Chaman

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CHAMAN, May 5: At least nine civilians were martyred while 48 others were wounded as the Afghan Border Police (ABP) opened unprovoked firing, shelling on Frontier Corps (FC) personnel detailed for security of population census team in Balochistan’s Chaman area early Friday, confirmed Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The Afghan forces targeted Pakistani checkposts with light and heavy weapons at around 4:00 am. Some mortar shells fell on nearby homes, injuring 48 persons including four FC Balochistan soldiers, and three children who were swiftly moved to District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ).

Some of the injured were identified as Allauddin, Bilal Ahmed, Hikmatullah and Dar Mohammad while the slain boy was recognized as 17-year-old Mohammad Ashraf.

Pakistani security forces are also effectively retaliating to Afghan aggression which is still continued in the area.

Since April 30, Afghan Border Police had been creating hurdles in conducting census in divided villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Charnan area on Pakistani side. However, the firing was done despite the fact that Afghan authorities had been informed well in advance about the census exercise and coordination was carried out through diplomatic and military channels, said ISPR.

Soon after the incident, Pakistani security forces shut Bab-e-Dosti and blocked main road in Garang area whereas emergency was declared in the vicinity while people living the bordering villages were instructed to move to safer locations.

In February, the Pakistani military closed border crossings with Afghanistan after a suicide bomber, allegedly from a militant group operating out of Afghanistan, killed nearly 90 people at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan.

In March, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the reopening of border crossings following talks between security officials from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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