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As fencing continues along the Durand Line, Pakistani forces and Taliban exchange fire

The fresh border battles come amid assertions from both the Taliban and Pakistan that they have settled their recent border barrier dispute by agreeing to continue work on the project, which sparked a tense situation

As fencing continues along the Durand Line, Pakistani forces and Taliban exchange fire
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Across the Durand Line, Pakistani security troops and Afghan Taliban are continuing exchanging fire. The most recent occurrence occurred on Friday in the Bajaur area, in hamlets such as Ganjgaal, Sarkano, and Kunar. Both sides are seen firing at each other in various accounts in the local media and footage shared by journalists.

The firing reportedly continued for 30 minutes on Friday afternoon, according to some sources.

The shooting began after a Taliban-affiliated sharpshooter killed two Pakistani soldiers while a border fence was being built. In response, the Pakistani side fired at border hamlets, sparking Afghan reprisal.

Heavy confrontations erupted in the area, with civilians being injured by shells and artillery, according to local accounts.

Meanwhile, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the December 19 attack in Darra Adam Khel on federal minister Shibli Faraz, which injured his driver and bodyguard.

The fresh border battles come amid assertions from both the Taliban and Pakistan that they have settled their recent border barrier dispute by agreeing to continue work on the project, which sparked a tense situation.

A senior official told a group of journalists on Friday that fencing-related issues would be dealt with in the future through mutual agreement, according to a senior official.

According to the Dawn newspaper, the official did not indicate at what level the talks between Pakistan and the de facto Afghan government were held following the incident on Wednesday in which Taliban members destroyed border fencing and carried away spools of barbed wire.

Despite fierce opposition from the neighbouring country, Pakistan has been fencing the 2600-kilometer border with Afghanistan since 2017 to prevent terrorist infiltration and smuggling, according to the article.

Aside from erecting a fence, the project also includes the construction of border posts and forts, as well as the formation of new Frontier Corps wings to guard the border.

According to the official, 90% of the fencing had been completed.

Because the Afghans dispute the boundary marking done during the colonial period, fencing has been a controversial topic in Pakistan-Afghanistan relations.

While the Afghan Pashtuns use the Durand Line to determine their country's borders, Pakistan opposes it.

The disagreements over the border's status have been so vehement in the past that they have resulted in multiple fatal conflicts between the two countries' armies.

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