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Border skirmish over Goshta gate resumes

Border skirmish over Goshta gate resumes

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May 06, 2013 - 10:23

JALALABAD (PANinfo-icon): Afghan and Pakistani troops clashed for a second time in less than a week over a controversial border gate in the Goshta district of eastern Nangarhar province on Monday morning, an official said.

A top security officer in the eastern zone confided to Pajhwok Afghan News the gunbattle between the border guards erupted at around 8:30am -- hours after Pakistani troops began reconstructing the gate destroyed in Wednesday night’s clash.

He said the gate’s reconstructioninfo-icon led border guards to testy exchanges that eventually triggered a fierce fire exchange that was still ongoing. There was panic and fear among residents of areas located near the Durand Lineinfo-icon.

Heavy and light weapons are being used by both sides and gunfire could be heard in nearby villages, said Nabi Gul, a resident of Goshta.

In Islamabad, a foreign ministry spokesman said the British-mandated Durand Line was a settled issue. Discussions on the subject would amount to a distraction from more pressing issues requiring attention and cooperation, he argued.

On President Karzai’s remarks regarding Pakistani posts on the border, he recalled the Gursal checkpoint had come under attack from Afghan forces and there had been threatening and provocative statements from Afghan leaders in this regard.

The official reiterated the posts served the "useful and mutually beneficial purpose" of better border management, which was vital to interdicting undesirable activity.

mm/mud

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