Protesters killed at Pakistan-Afghanistan border

Shooting At Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Kills Three, Injures 17

Three killed as troops open fire at rally in Pakistan: Activists

It further stated that the Pakistani side "immediately activated both military and diplomatic channels" in order to de-escalate the situation and it was after hectic efforts that the firing from the Afghan side came to a halt.

"We hope our constructive efforts will be reciprocated", the statement concluded by saying.

The Foreign Office said on Friday that Afghan forces had opened "unprovoked" fire on civilians gathered on Pakistan's side of the Friendship Gate border crossing in Chaman a day earlier and the incident resulted in casualties after Pakistani troops responded to the fire "only in self-defence".

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters that the matter had been taken up with Afghan authorities and hoped it would be resolved amicably.

Information Minister Shibli Faraz speaks at a press conference.

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The minister said that it was a few rogue elements among those who had stayed behind who incited the others to violence.

Movement between Afghanistan and Pakistan has been restricted recently due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

He said Pakistan showed "reaction" after Afghan forces targeted border posts on this side of the global border.

"If the Pakistani military continues its rocket attacks on Afghan territory, they will face retaliation by the Afghan army", Afghanistan's defence ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters. "We closed the border ahead of Eidul Azha", Faraz said, adding that Pakistan and Afghanistan are brotherly countries. "The government intensified the SOPs implementation drive along the borders to keep them safe in line with best worldwide practices".

Faraz said another basic reason for the tension is that smuggling is affected when the border is closed. "And there is a high probability of smuggling through borders".

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Subsequent cross-border artillery fire by Pakistan killed at least 15 civilians in Afghanistan, Afghan officials said, prompting Kabul to put its ground and air forces on alert.

Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove and other senior officials met leaders of the sit-in in Chaman. Minister Zamrak Khan, MPA Achakzai and Frontier Corps officials held a detailed meeting to end the ongoing conflict.

Usman Khan Kakar, a Pakistani senator in the nationalist Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) from Balochistan Province, condemned the incident.

On the Afghan side meanwhile, Mr Baheer Ahmad, a spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor, told AFP that 15 people had been killed and 80 others wounded "as a result of shelling and sporadic firing by the Pakistani border forces".

He said that after the border's closure, most of the people who had gathered to cross it, dispersed.

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Furthermore, they had allegedly set fire to computers at a National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) office for border management, about 100 containers belonging to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as well as tents and offices at a quarantine centre nearby.

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