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Afghanistan, Pakistan, Dispute Death Toll In Border Clash


Relatives move a boy who was injured during border clashes between Pakistani and Afghan forces at a hospital in Chaman on May 5.

Afghanistan has disputed a claim by the Pakistani Army that it had killed some 50 security personnel and destroyed at least five Afghan checkpoints near the border between the two countries, saying only two border police were killed.

Pakistani Major General Nadeem Ahmad told reporters on May 7 at the Chaman border crossing that two of his soldiers were also killed and another nine were wounded.

Siddiq Siddiqi, the head of Afghanistan's government center for media and information told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan in an interview on May 7 that the claim "baseless" and the Afghan government "strongly dismissed" it.

The Pakistani and Afghan armies have been clashing near the crossing in southwestern Pakistan and southern Afghanistan since May 5.

Pakistan said the fighting began after the Afghan Border Police opened fire on soldiers accompanying a census team, killing nine civilians. Siddiqi blamed the Pakistani side for starting the fighting.

Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of providing sanctuaries for Afghan Taliban and the militant Haqqani network on its soil, while Pakistan accuses Afghanistan of sheltering Pakistani Taliban.

With reporting by AP and Geo.TV
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