South Asia News
Pakistani soldier killed in border clash with Afghanistan (Roundup)
Feb 2, 2011, 13:29 GMT
Islamabad - At least one Pakistani soldier was killed and four injured Wednesday when Pakistani security forces exchanged fire with Afghan border guards, Pakistani security officials said.
Both countries blamed the other for starting the clash.
A Pakistani official said about 10 mortars were fired from Afghanistan at a border post of Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Corps, which led to the clash in the Bang-e-Dar area of North Waziristan.
'The unprovoked fire hit the check post and killed one soldier and injured four others,' the official said on the condition of anonymity.
However, Gul Ahmad - a senior official with the Afghan border police unit in Gurbuz, a district in the south-eastern province of Khost, which borders North Waziristan - accused Pakistani paramilitary forces of initiating the clash.
He said a police outpost was attacked by rockets fired from the Pakistani side of the border and the Afghan guards, who are under direct purview of US troops, retaliated in self-defence.
There were no injuries among Afghan security personnel, he said.
A second Pakistani official said reinforcements were dispatched to the border immediately after the fighting.
North Waziristan is considered to be a major stronghold of militants who use the area to train and launch cross-border attacks on Afghan and Western troops.
The United States has urged Pakistan to launch military operations in the district and has been using drone strikes to target the hideouts of suspected insurgents.
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