Pakistan-Afghan border crossing closed after clashes

By and

QUETTA, Nov 14 (Reuters) - A major border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan has closed for trade and transit after a clash between security force personnel from both sides, a local Pakistani official said on Monday.

Abdul Hameed Zehri, the Deputy Commissioner of the town of Chahman, which borders the Afghan district of Spin Boldak, said the closure came after prolonged firing between security forces from both sides the day before.

"Firing continued until late night from both sides," said Zehri, adding that trade and border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan had been suspended at Chahman.

A spokesperson for the Taliban administration's interior ministry said a clash had occurred between border forces from both sides. He said it was due to a "misunderstanding" and the incident was being investigated.

A spokesperson for the media wing of Pakistan's military said they were looking into the situation to determine what had happened.

Zehri said the clashes had started when a man coming from the Afghan side of the border crossing had shot a Pakistani security force member, killing him and wounding others. The total number of casualties on both sides was not immediately clear.

Hundreds of trucks containing goods were stuck waiting on both sides, locals and officials said.

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 2021, clashes have taken place between its security forcea and those of Pakistan, while militants have attacked Pakistani forces.

Pakistan has called on the Taliban to ensure it lives up to promises that it would not harbour international militants. The Taliban denies harbouring militants.

Disputes linked to the border have been a bone of contention between the neighbours for decades.

The Taliban has attempted to block Pakistan's plans to finish fencing the 2,600 km (1,615 mile) border, which was drawn by British colonial rulers with no consideration for the Pashtun tribes it divided.

Reporting by Gul Yousafzai; Additional reporting by Asif Shahzad in Islamabad and Mohammad Yunus Yawar in Kabul; Writing by Charlotte Greenfield Editing by Gareth Jones

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.