Forces moved to Torkham border as tension persists
Thousands of stranded people, including women and children, stayed in mosques, hotels and other empty buildings in Torkham, Landikotal and other areas, a paramilitary commander told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Local residents offered food and shelter to the Afghans who spent a night in the open at different places in Landikotal. More than 300 Afghans had to stay in an under-construction mosque in Landikotal bazaar, he said.
Backed by tanks and armoured vehicles, troops from both countries were moved close to the Durand Line, according to the commander, who did not want to be named. Government servants, workers of private offices, students and teachers were asked to quit the tense border area.
Scores of trucks and trailers carrying fresh fruit and vegetables stayed stranded for the second day on the Pakistani side of the border. Worried by the situation, transporters put ice-blocks in the vegetables and fruits to keep them from going rotten.
On the Afghan side, shops of auto spare parts and other commodities were shut. Only critical patients and coffins were allowed to cross the frontier. The bodies of eight Afghans, who had died in Pakistan, were shifted to Afghanistan.
The source said Khyber Political Agent Khalid Mehmood remained in the area, where talks continued on reopening the border gate. However, Afghans with valid travel documents were allowed to enter Pakistan.
One administration official said they wanted to fence the border to plug illegal and secret border crossing points. However, he ruled out the possibility of a clash between border guards.
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