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5 killed in shootout along Pakistan-Afghan border


September 18. 2013 1:40PM
Associated Press

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(AP) Security forces killed five men Wednesday near the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, officials from the two countries said, though they offered conflicting claims over whether the dead were militants or cattle farmers.


The men had crossed the porous border to get fodder for their cattle when Afghan security forces killed them, Pakistani official Taj Mohammed said. Mohammad is a deputy commissioner in Zhob, which is located about 470 kilometers (280 miles) west of Quetta, the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province.


But the police chief for Afghanistan's Paktika province, Daulat Khan Zadran, said the men were Taliban militants killed in a confrontation with Afghan security forces. Zadran said the bodies of three of the slain men were still in Afghanistan.


The Pakistani government summoned a top Afghan diplomat to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad to protest the incident. In a statement, the ministry accused the Afghan forces of "indiscriminate firing" on the Pakistanis who they said were near the village of Godwana in the Zhob district of Baluchistan.


The ministry called on the Afghan government to investigate the incident.


The long border shared by the two countries is poorly marked and has been a constant source of friction for years. Both countries have accused the other of not doing enough to prevent militants from crossing the border. Local tribesmen often cross back and forth with little regard for the border.


Associated Press


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