Peshawar, Pakistan: Pakistani and Afghan border guards exchanged gunfire overnight at a crossing between the two countries, leaving one guard dead and 17 wounded on both sides, officials said on Monday.
The Torkham crossing was closed following the incident and talks were underway to defuse the situation and reopen the border.
Ghuncha Gul, a Pakistani official in the region, said the Afghan side started shooting late the previous night when construction work began on a new gate on the Pakistani side. He said the gunfire ended around 4 a.m. On the Pakistani side, two guards and nine civilians were wounded.
Afghan Gen. Zarawar Zahid, police chief of Nangarhar province, said one Afghan security officer was killed and six were wounded. He said the Pakistani forces opened fire after the Afghans asked them to stop work at the gate, which he claimed is located on no-man's land. But the Pakistani military said the country is "constructing a gate on its own side of the border as a necessary measure to check for unwanted and illegal movement."
Islamabad also on Monday summoned Afghanistan's charge d'affaires, Syed Abdul Nasir Yousufi. A Foreign Ministry statement says the Afghan diplomat was told the incident was contrary to the spirit of friendly relations between the two neighbors.
Last month, the Torkham crossing was closed over a similar incident and reopened only after Pakistan and Afghanistan reached an understanding at a meeting between Pakistani army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif and Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal.
The Afghan authorities do not recognize the present boundary, the so-called Durand Line, as an international border, and have denounced Pakistan's plans to erect a fence at the crossing.