Paktia civilians flee their homes as border clashes leave one dead

At least one person has been killed so far in clashes in Paktia province between the Taliban and Pakistani border guards over the past five days.

In addition to the one person killed, six others were also wounded in the skirmishes.

Clashes broke out on Nov. 17 when the Taliban was marking out a road to an outpost at the Kharlachi border crossing in Dand-e-Patan district of Paktia province, two sources from the province said.

Pakistan border forces and civilians living on the other side of the Durand Line objected, which then led to a gunfight, the sources said.

A second skirmish broke out on Sunday, November 20, which resulted in casualties.

Abdul Bari Zadran, a spokesman for the Taliban police command in Paktia, told Amu that one Taliban member was killed and three civilians were wounded in the clashes.

“The clash started at around 3:30pm yesterday (Sunday) and continued until 8 in the evening. Three civilians were wounded,” he added.

But Nasir Ahmad Rahmani, head of Paktia’s public health directorate for the Taliban told reporters Sunday that one body and six wounded were taken to Paktia hospitals after the clashes.

Pakistani media have reported that three members of Pakistan’s border forces were wounded in the clashes.

Meanwhile, dozens of families have fled their homes for safety after mortar shells hit their areas in Satya, Dandai, Sperai and Landai villages in Dand-e-Patan district following the clashes.

“Taliban are making a road on this side and Pakistanis are preventing them. Many rockets hit people’s houses and they have left the area,” said Saminullah, a resident of Dandi village in Dand-e-Patan district.

Analysts have said that a lack of planning on the Taliban’s part has led to increased border tensions with Pakistan in recent weeks.

“The continuation of adventurous mode by the Taliban will be risky for Afghanistan and countries in the region. The Taliban and Pakistan have not been able to address each other’s demands,” said Wais Nasiri, a political affairs analyst.

This comes after a clash at the Spin Boldak crossing in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, involving an armed man, broke out about 10 days ago. One Pakistani border guard was killed. The Taliban expressed regret over the incident.

The Spin Boldak crossing was closed for one week following the incident and was reopened Monday morning.