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Pakistan reopens Afghan border crossing

18 June 2016 12:34



Pakistan has reopened a border crossing on the Afghan frontier that had been temporarily closed following deadly clashes between the two sides’ border troops.

The Torkham border was reopened on Saturday morning and all those carrying valid travel documents are being allowed to cross, The Associated Press reported, citing two security officials, who had asked not to be named.

Earlier in the week, Islamabad started building a gate in the area as a means of confronting alleged illegal entry into Pakistan, which was followed by an exchange of fire between the forces stationed on the common border. It is not clear what prompted the fighting.

Two Afghan border guards and one Pakistani army officer were killed in the fighting, with either side blaming the other for starting fire.

The terminal’s closure had kept thousands behind the crossing point, which connects Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar to Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber tribal district.

Afghan civilians sleep along a road near the Torkham border between Afghanistan and Pakistan in Nangarhar Province, May 12, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Afghanistan is gripped by insecurity more than 14 years after the United States and its allies attacked the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.

The spillover of the violence and homegrown extremism have plagued Pakistan, where bombings and armed attacks have become almost daily occurrences countrywide.

Ties have soured between the two countries over recent years, with Afghanistan accusing Pakistan of harboring Taliban militants on its soil.

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