Taliban expresses regret over Spin Boldak shooting

Photo: Reuters

The Taliban has acknowledged and expressed regret over the shooting incident at the Spin Boldak-Chaman crossing three days ago and said they have formed a high-ranking delegation to investigate the incident.

According to a statement issued by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, “on 11/13/2022, on the road leading from Spin Boldak to Chaman in Kandahar province, an unknown person fired at Pakistani security personnel, as a result of which one Pakistani soldier was killed.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) is sorry for this incident,” Mujahid said, adding that a high-ranking delegation has been appointed to investigate the incident and find the perpetrators.

He also said Taliban security agencies are trying to prevent such incidents from happening again.

The Taliban statement comes after Islamabad shut its southwestern border crossing with Afghanistan for an “indefinite period” following the shooting incident.

The Chaman border – also known as Friendship Gate – connects Pakistan’s Balochistan province to Afghanistan’s Kandahar province.

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

However, 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.