Nine Pakistani census takers killed near Afghan border
(May 6) Pakistani security officials claim that at least nine people have been killed and 33 wounded when they came under fire from Afghan forces. Those attacked were conducting a census near the Afghan border. Casualty accounts vary.
|The attack Friday was near the Chaman border crossing into Pakistan's Balochistan province. The attack prompted security forces to ask people on the border to evacuate. The incident resulted in the Chaman border crossing being closed. Pakistani military spokesperson, Asif Ghafoor, said that firing was still going on. Chaman is one of only two main border crossings from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Ghafoor added: "Since April 30, Afghan Border Police had been creating hurdles in conduct of census in divided villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Chaman area, on Pakistani side of the border."|
"Pakistan's decision to close two border crossings with Afghanistan following a wave of deadly attacks has forced cross-border trade to grind to a halt.Pakistan closed the Torkham and Chaman borders after Thursday's suicide attack at a sufi shrine in the southern Sindh province which killed at least 88 people.The attack at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan was the worst attack on Pakistan soil since 2014 and the latest in a wave of violence last week that claimed more than 100 lives.The closing caused chaos at the border as many trucks loaded with perishable goods were stopped.There were frequent clashed between the Pakistani Taliban and Pakistani military forces in several districts. In March 20, Nawaz Sharif; Pakistani PM ordered the crossing to be reopened. Since the census began in March, some teams have been attacked by Pakistani Taliban fighters.