Pakistani forces and Taliban clash again over border fencing issue, soldiers also clash with Pakistani Taliban: Details – OpIndia

For the second time in a week, Pakistani forces clashed with Taliban at the border over fencing at the Durant Line. Pakistani forces were reportedly trying to put up barbed wire fencing. Reports suggest that the Pak forces tried to extend fences 10 KM inside Afghanistan territory. Talibs retaliated and tore down the barbed wires. Both sides had earlier clashed over a similar issue in the eastern Nangarhar province on December 22. Afghanistan’s Khama Press reported that Talibs uprooted the barbed wire and brought it with them in Afghanistan.

Videos of the incident went viral on social media platforms where Talibs could be seen threatening Pak army personnel with harsh repercussions if they attempt to install barbed wires across the border.

The Durand Line

The 2,600 KM international border was drawn by British civil servant Sir Henry Mortimer Durand in November 1893 after signing an agreement with then-Afghan ruler Amir Abdur Rahman. Afghanistan has repeatedly said it did not recognize the border line and objected to Pakistan’s attempts to fence the border. Zabiullah Mujahid, Chief Spokesperson of the Taliban, had asserted the same in September after Talibs took over Afghanistan.

In other news, on December 31, four Pakistani soldiers were killed by the Pakistani Taliban at the Afghan-Pak border. The Pakistani Army has termed it as the deadliest confrontation between Talibs and Pakistani security forces since a truce was called off around a month ago. Reports suggest that the Pakistani security forces had raided two hideouts of Talibs near Afghanistan in district Tank and North Waziristan. In Tank, two Talibani terrorists were killed while one was captured in North Waziristan. Four soldiers were killed in the latter.

The Pakistani military said the soldiers were killed during an intense exchange of fire at Mir Ali town. In both raids, the Pak army allegedly seized arms and ammunition. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an armed militancy group of Pakistan that shared roots with the Afghan Taliban, said in a statement that one of the hideouts were raided by the Pak army. TTP is the same organization that killed 150 children in Peshawar, Pakistan, in 2014.

In November, TTP and Islamabad agreed to a truce, but it fell through in early December. TTP had accused the Pakistani government of violating the terms of the truce.

TTP is not the only opposition Pakistan is currently facing at the Afghan border. Earlier, it was reported that TTP snipers had killed two Pakistani soldiers. In retaliation, the Pakistan army fired mortars at the Afghan border that agitated the Taliban that started hitting Pak’s forward posts at Durand Line.

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