2 Afghans die, thousands stranded at Torkham border
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): At least two Afghans died and a dozen others fell unconscious as Pakistani guards at the Torkham border crossing refused entry to thousands of people, media reports said on Wednesday.
Disorderly scenes were in evidence after thousands of people without valid travel documents were stopped from entering Pakistan. One ailing Afghan woman and a girl died waiting in scorching heat.
Immigration staff and border guards had stepped up checks of travel documents of the Afghans coming to Pakistan, Dawn reported, saying the lengthy verification process kept thousands of Afghans and Pakistanis stranded.
The resultant rush of pedestrians led to a serious traffic blockade that affected the transportation of different items including fruits and vegetables. The five-hour restrictions, however, were eased when security officials intervened.
More than 5,000 Afghan nationals were stopped at the border, according to The News International, which said the woman from the eastern city of Jalalabad died waiting in a car awaiting clearance at a Pakistani checkpoint.
The girl breathed her last on the Afghan side of the border due to hot weather, Torkham administrator Shakeel Umarzai confirmed to the newspaper. He said the child was waiting along with his parents to enter Pakistan.
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