Kabul, April 17 (Reuters): Afghanistan’s interior minister said today Afghan border forces clashed overnight with Pakistani militiamen who intruded into the southeastern province of Khost.
Ali Ahmad Jalali said he had no details of any casualties during the encounter in the border village of Gulam Khan, south of the town of Khost. The incident comes just days before a state visit to Pakistan by Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, during which worsening border security will be high on the agenda.
Jalali quoted police as saying Pakistani militiamen penetrated 5 km into Afghanistan before being forced out. “After a counter-offensive by border forces, they retreated across the border,” Jalali told a news briefing.
“However the situation is tense at the Gulam Khan village and Khost area. We are trying to find out more about it,” he said.
Pakistani officials denied that any of their militia had crossed the border, saying Afghan soldiers had merely traded fire with tribesmen living in the border region.
“But they (Afghans) left the area just as our forces reached it,” said an official in North West Frontier Province.