Seven soldiers killed in militant clashes in NW Pakistan

Seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in an exchange of fire with militants in Spera Kunar Algad area of North Waziristan near the Afghan border. (AFP/file)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Seven soldiers killed in militant clashes in NW Pakistan

  • Saturday's incident occurred in Spera Kunar Algad area of North Waziristan near the Afghan border

ISLAMABAD: Seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in an exchange of fire with militants in the country's northwest near the Afghan border on Saturday, the military said.

The militants had infiltrated from across the Afghan border, and an officer was among the Pakistani soldiers killed, according to a statement issued by the military.

Nine militants were also killed in the exchange of fire, it said.

Violence in Pakistan has declined in recent years following a series of military operations along the northwestern border with Afghanistan, but militant groups are still able to carry out deadly attacks.

Saturday's incident occurred in Spera Kunar Algad area of North Waziristan near the Afghan border.

There have been a number of fatal assaults in recent months in the northwest as well as in the southwestern Balochistan province.

Pakistan's army launched its operation in mid-2014 to wipe out militant bases in the area and end the near decade-long insurgency that has cost thousands of lives.

The operation was intensified after the Taliban massacred more than 150 people, the majority of them children, at a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in December 2014.

In 2016, the Pakistani army claimed to have cleared the last militant stronghold in the country's northwest after a three-month long operation.


Pakistan reopens Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan

Updated 21 October 2018
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Pakistan reopens Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan

  • Islamabad closed border crossings with Afghanistan at the request of the Afghan government
  • Afghanistan held its third parliamentary elections since 2001 on Saturday

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan reopened its Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan on Sunday, state media reported.
Islamabad had closed two main border crossings —  Chaman and Torkham — with Afghanistan on Friday for two days, at the request of the Afghan government.
“The decision has been taken to support Afghanistan in the smooth conduct of the upcoming Parliamentary elections in the country,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Thursday.
On Saturday, Afghanistan held it third parliamentary elections since 2001. 
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke to his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani on the phone on Friday and said, “These elections are an important landmark for the strengthening of democracy in the country, which remains the key to achieving sustainable peace and progress in Afghanistan.”