Pakistan and Afghan forces have clashed on the border near Parachinar, and villagers on the Pakistan side have fled and evacuated as the army moves in Artillery. The area is also the scene of much ethnic fighting earlier this month, with Sunni and Shia clashing over control of a shrine since last October.
PARACHINAR, May 17: Pakistan and Afghan forces traded heavy fire along the border in the Tari Mingal area of Kurram Agency early Thursday morning, amid evacuation of civilians from villages along the Durand Line.
Three soldiers of the Frontier Corps were wounded in the clashes, officials said.
Sources said Nato officials visited the border area on Thursday in a bid to reduce tensions between the two countries after clashes over a security post near Tari Mingal.
According to the officials, the Afghan National Army launched an attack on Pakistani security posts at 3.40am, which was repulsed. This triggered a panic among villagers of Tari Mingal, Kotri Sursurang and Piwar. Jet fighters were seen hovering over the border at high altitude. Sources said the clashes raged for about one and half hours.
The AFP quoted ISPR spokesman Maj-Gen Waheed Arshad as saying that the battle erupted after Afghan forces fired a mortar at Pakistani soldiers near the Tari Mingal area.
â€œThe exchange of fire continued until 5am. There was a brief resumption of firing around 7am, but it ended quickly,â€ he told AFP, adding that there were no Pakistani casualties and that he was unaware of any on the Afghan side.
However, the sources told Dawn that three paramilitary soldiers were wounded in the firing.
Tension has been high since Sunday last when Pakistani and Afghan troops clashed over a disputed security post in the Gavi area, some 20 kilometres west of Parachinar, in which several soldiers from both sides were killed and wounded. The officials said the disputed Gavi Sar post had been vacated after a flag meeting held on Sunday last.
Tension further mounted when a convoy carrying US military officials was attacked in the Tari Mingal area on Monday, killing a US and a Pakistani soldier. The US military officials had come to the border town for a flag meeting.
The sources said the Pakistan Army had deployed heavy artillery pieces near the border with Afghanistan. Additional paramilitary forces were seen heading towards the border area and a senior military commander also visited the border town to review the security plan.
If there’s one more thing that can go wrong or bad in Pakistan, I don’t know what it would be. There is also evidence that Iran might be involved in the border clashes, implementing another division of Hez’Allah Shias in Pakistan to destabilize yet another Islamic government, as they have previously in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Palestine (witness the Fatah-Hamas civil war in Palestine.) They want every other state in chaos around them.
In Tank the army was finally called out to suppress Taliban insurgents, aproximately 200 troops were rushed to the area after reports of the terrorists massing.
TANK, May 17: Army was called out on Thursday to cope with any eventuality after the local administration received reports that 90 to 100 militants had entered the city to carry out terrorist activity in the area, a government official said.
District Coordination Officer Syed Mohsin Shah said the city had been handed over to troops after fierce gunbattles between personnel of paramilitary forces and militants on Wednesday.
â€œThe security has been put on high alert to cope with the situation after local administration received reports from the South Waziristan Agency that about 90 to 100 militants have entered the city to carry out terrorist activities,â€ Mr Shah said.
Informed sources told Dawn that over 200 militants were also on way to the troubled district from the Jandola region, which prompted the local administration to seek assistance from the army.