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Brawl Shuts Pakistani-Afghan Border Crossing


PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Pakistan has closed its main border crossing with Afghanistan along the highway linking Kabul and Islamabad.

The crossing is at Torkham, a town straddling both sides of the border within the Khyber Pass.

A Pakistani border official told RFE/RL that the April 30 closure was ordered because an Afghan border guard brawled with a Pakistani official.

On April 29, Islamabad tightened entry requirements in connection with May 11 parliamentary elections, ordering that only Afghans with valid documents could cross into Pakistan.

Before the tightening, crossing the border without travel documents was routine.

As a result of the change, four Afghans trying to reach a Peshawar hospital were held up at the border on April 29 and died early the next day.

The brawl that led to the border closure broke out shortly after the four Afghans died.
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