At least, nine civilians were killed and 45 others injured before the fighting near the Chaman border crossing subsided late.
Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday warned Afghanistan of a response to the firing near a major border crossing where Pakistani Census officials were carrying out a count, if the country refused to stop border violations.
At least nine civilians were killed and 45 others injured before the fighting near the Chaman border crossing subsided late on Friday afternoon, said officials.
Foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said Pakistan reserved the right to respond to preserve its sovereignty and protect its civilians. He said the problems of Afghanistan were internal and blaming others for them would not help.
Later, Afghan charge d’ affairs Abdul Nasir Yousafi was summoned to the foreign office and a strong protest registered over the firing.
Mr Yousafi was told that the Pakistani authorities were undertaking the Census count and this information had been shared with the Afghan government earlier.
“The unprovoked firing from the Afghan side not only led to the loss of lives and injured many, but has also disrupted the Census in areas on the Pakistan side of the border and damaged properties,” a statement by the foreign ministry said.
Pakistan’s military said at least seven civilians, including three children and two women were killed, and 29 others injured in the firing and shelling by Afghan forces.
Afghan provincial officials claimed the Pakistanis fired first, wounding two Afghan policemen. They said the Pakistani Census officials had strayed on to the Afghan side of the border and were attempting to count people living there.
The gunfight prompted Pakistani authorities to shut the Chaman border crossing and threatens to exacerbate tense relations between Islamabad and Kabul.