Spin Boldak-Chaman border closed ‘indefinitely’ after deadly shooting

Tensions are running high between border forces along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border after Islamabad shut its southwestern border crossing with Afghanistan for an “indefinite period” following a shooting incident on Sunday that left one Pakistani border force member dead.

The Chaman border – also known as Friendship Gate – connects Pakistan’s Balochistan province to Afghanistan’s Kandahar province. This crossing was closed after a Taliban border guard from Afghanistan reportedly crossed into Pakistan and opened fire on security forces.

One Pakistani Frontier Corps member was killed and another two were wounded, Deputy Commissioner Chaman, Abdul Hameed Zehri, told reporters.

Anadolu Agency reported the attack was followed by hours-long firing between Pakistani and Afghan border guards, prompting the closure of the key trade crossing between the two countries.

Reports indicate that Pakistan is pressing the Taliban to hand over the suspected killer of the Pakistani guard before it reopens the busy crossing.

Pakistani authorities say a Taliban security guard crossed over to the Pakistani side and opened fire. This triggered clashes between both border security forces.

Neither side has officially commented on the reported death.

But a senior Chaman administration official told VOA that the border crossing was briefly opened late Monday afternoon to allow stranded Afghan and Pakistani pedestrians to return to their countries, but no trade convoys were permitted to move in either direction.

“The border terminal has now been indefinitely closed for trade and all other movements. It will not be opened until the handing over of the assailant responsible for the martyrdom of the Pakistani soldier,” Deputy Commissioner Abdul Hameed Zehri told VOA.

Security camera footage circulating on social media shows the assailant among a group of several Taliban guards before he quickly brings out his weapon and shoots at Pakistani forces near an entry gate. A Pakistani security official confirmed the authenticity of the video to VOA.

“The Afghan officials have informed us that a search operation is underway to nab the attacker, who is still at large,” the official added.