MAJOR: Afghan, Pakistani Forces Clash on Border, Three Civilians Killed

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KABUL/ISLAMABAD – Afghan and Pakistani forces engaged in cross-border clashes for a second day, hours after Pakistani mortar and rocket fire into Afghanistan killed three women in eastern Kunar province, Afghan officials announced on Monday.

The fighting first broke out Sunday afternoon when Afghan forces and local militiamen tried to stop Pakistani forces from establishing a military installation along the disputed border, said Abdul Ghani Musamem, the spokesman for the governor of Kunar, AP reported.

He added that the shooting lasted over three hours and also wounded four civilians in the remote Nari district, which lies along the border. He noted that communication with the area was difficult because of the isolated location.

Pakistani forces were again firing mortars down on villages inside Afghanistan after fighting resumed Monday morning, said General Mohammad Ayub Hussainkhail, an Afghan commander for forces on the Eastern border.

“Dozens of local people have displaced from the area,” he stated, adding that reinforcements had arrived in the Do Kalam area of Nari district.

There was no immediate comment from Pakistan. The two countries often trade accusations that the other side is firing across the border, which runs for 2,400 km (1,490 miles), much of it through mountainous terrain.

The Taliban and other armed groups operate on both sides of the porous line. Pakistani troops are currently building border fences in response to ongoing complaints by Afghanistan over cross-border movement, particularly by fighters.

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