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At Least 13 Dead, 80 Wounded In Pakistani-Afghan Border Clashes


At least 13 people have been killed and more than 80 others wounded in clashes between Afghan and Pakistani forces near the Chaman border crossing, officials say.

The Afghan Border Police opened fire on soldiers accompanying a census team, a Pakistani military statement read on May 5.

"Since April 30, Afghan Border Police had been creating hurdles in conduct of census in divided villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Chaman area on Pakistani side of the border," the statement adds.

On the Pakistani side, Naseem Ullah, a doctor at a hospital in Killa Abdullah, told the German dpa news agency that nine civilians were killed in shelling. He said more than 45 people, including 12 children and six security personnel, were wounded.

Media reports in Afghanistan citing a police chief said four Afghan security personnel were killed and 14 police and at least 23 civilians wounded.

Both sides blamed each other for having started the fighting that began in the early morning hours near the crossing in southwestern Pakistan and southern Afghanistan.

Firing still continues on the Chaman border, an RFE/RL correspondent reports.

Zia Durani, a spokesman for the police chief in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province, blamed Pakistan for initiating the shooting, saying Pakistan wants to use the cover of data collection to help militants sneak into Afghanistan.

Another spokesman, Ghurzang Afridi, said the Pakistani census team had worked on the Afghan side of the border.

With reporting by dpa, AP, and Dawn
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