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Afghan Officials: Pakistani Cross-Border Fire Kills Civilian

By Ayaz Gul April 10, 2018

Officials in Afghanistan say cross-border shelling by Pakistan has killed at least one civilian in the eastern province of Kunar.

A provincial government spokesman told VOA Pakistani forces in the past 24 hours have fired hundreds of artillery shells on two Afghan border districts of Sarkano and Dangam.

Ghani Mosmim said the firing has also caused damage to civilian property.

"Routine fire on terrorists' hideouts right on [the Afghan] border ," a Pakistan military spokesman told VOA when asked for his reaction to Afghan allegations. He gave no further details.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry last week accused the neighboring country of launching airstrikes on parts of Dangam and causing "huge financial damages."

Pakistan rejected the allegation as baseless, saying its security forces were conducting counterterrorism operations inside their own territory to deter Afghanistan-based militant groups from staging attacks across the border.

Islamabad maintains that anti-state militants sheltering in Afghan border areas are behind recent attacks on Pakistani security forces and civilians.

Kabul has long accused Pakistan of harboring Afghan Taliban insurgents, charges Islamabad denies.

Tuesday's incident comes just days after Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi visited Afghanistan and met with Afghan leaders.

In a post-visit statement, Islamabad said both sides have agreed to commit to avoid territorial and aerial violations of each other's territory.

The two countries also decided to avoid "public blame game" and use mutually agreed "cooperation mechanisms" to respond to bilateral issues of contention and concerns.

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