Afghan troops tore down part of a new “anti-Taliban” fence being erected by Pakistan on the border between the two countries April 19, leading to an armed clash with Pakistani forces. An Afghan defense ministry statement said the fighting took place between the Afghan border town of Shkin and Angoor Adda in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas. “Today at 9:30 AM the Afghan army moved to the area and removed the fence,” the defence ministry statement said. “Pakistani troops fired on our forces, and the Afghan army returned fire.” Islamabad said the clash started when Afghan troops fired on a Pakistani border patrol. Pakistani military spokesman Gen. Waheed Arshad, told the BBC that the clashes were unconnected with the fence, which in any case was deep inside Pakistani territory. No casualties have been reported by either side.
The Afghan government strongly opposes the fence, charging it would make permanent the disputed border between the two countries. The so-called “Durand Line” was drawn up in 1893 by British India to divide powerful Pashtun tribes. (BBC, April 19)
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