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50 Afghan soldiers killed in border firing: Pakistani official

PTI | Islamabad |

Fifty Afghan security personnel were killed and 100 others injured as Pakistani forces retaliated to unprovoked firing in Balochistan's Chaman area last week, a top official claimed here on Sunday.

Major General Nadeem Anjum, Inspector General (IG) of Frontier Corps (FC) – Balochistan, however, said that "we are not happy over their losses since they are our Muslim brothers", Dawn online reported.

The Frontier Corps IG was briefing media persons here over a cross-border attack in Chaman on May 5, in which 12 Pakistani civilians were killed and 40 injured when Afghan border forces opened fire at security personnel guarding a census team, although Kabul was informed of the exercise in advance.

The attack caused residents in Killi Luqman, Killi Jahangir and Badshah Adda Kahol to evacuate their homes as Chaman was shut down and security ramped up in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.

The FC Balochistan chief said four or five check posts were also destroyed when Pakistani border guards retaliated to the cross-border attack.

Maj. Gen. Anjum said that on May 5, Afghanistan pleaded for ceasefire, which Pakistan accepted.

He said Afghan border forces targeted civilians even though they had been informed about the on-going census exercise.

Earlier, Pakistan Army's Southern Command chief Lt General Aamir Riaz termed the cross-border attack as "shameful", reports Dawn online.

"This was a shameful act to target civilians at the border villages of Pakistan," Riaz had said earlier when he visited Chaman.

In response to the attack, Pakistan had closed its borders with Afghanistan at Chaman and Torkham on February 18 after a series of terrorist attacks in the country killed over 100 people. 

After over a month of closure, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered reopening of the borders as a goodwill gesture.