Cap­tured sol­dier, 5 bod­ies re­turned

Gulf News - - Pakistan -

Afghan tribes­men yes­ter­day re­turned a Pak­istani sol­dier they cap­tured in a deadly skir­mish along the coun­tries’ bor­der, as well as the bod­ies of five sol­diers, the gov­er­nor of Afghanistan’s Khost prov­ince said.

The sol­dier and the bod­ies were handed to Pak­istani troops, said Khost gov­er­nor Hukum Khan Habibi.

The dis­pute arose over Pak­istan’s work on a fence in­tended to span nearly all of the dis­puted 2,500-kilo­me­tre bor­der, much of it moun­tain­ous and por­ous. Afghan of­fi­cials have al­leged that Pak­istani troops crossed onto Afghanistan soil, prompt­ing fir­ing on Sun­day by bor­der forces and the lo­cal tribal force.

The two sides later agreed on a cease­fire.

De­ten­tions rare

Bor­der skir­mishes in the area are com­mon, al­though de­ten­tion of a for­eign sol­dier is rare. Each na­tional gov­ern­ment al­leges that the other al­lows shel­ter­ing of Tal­iban mil­i­tants who stage cross-bor­der at­tacks. The tribes­men han­dle se­cu­rity in their district of Khost.

The Pak­istani mil­i­tary has pre­vi­ously said that two of its sol­diers were killed. An Afghan army com­man­der has said two tribes­men were killed in the skir­mish.

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