Pakistan defense chief says Taliban ‘apologized’ for border shelling

Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif on Monday said that the Taliban government has apologized to Pakistan after its border forces fired on civilians across the Spin Boldak-Chaman border into Afghanistan’s neighboring country.

According to Asif, the matter of the shooting on the civilian population in Balochistan’s Chaman district on Sunday, “is now resolved.”

At least seven people were killed and 16 more were wounded on Sunday in Chaman when the Taliban opened fire, according to Pakistani envoy Mohammad Sadiq.

Addressing a National Assembly session, Asif said the “provocation at Chaman was from the Afghan side.”

“There was a portion of the fence damaged; our people were repairing it; they slammed the fence with a jeep […] they took the stand that the reparation work should have been referred to the border security committee,” he said.

The Taliban’s ministry of foreign affairs called the incident “tragic”. The repetition of such incidents is regrettable, said Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a spokesman for Taliban’s ministry of foreign affairs.

He said the Taliban government on its part has taken serious measures to prevent a repeat of such incidents and also called on the Pakistani government to pay serious attention to avoid situations that could lead to violence and adversely affect relations between the countries.