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Pakistan reopens Torkham border crossing to Afghanistan

Following deadly clashes at border and week-long pile-up of trucks, neighbours negotiate and de-escalate tensions.

Pakistan has reopened the Torkham crossing along its border with Afghanistan that had been closed following deadly clashes between the two sides.

The border was opened on Saturday morning, making way for thousands of trucks which had been piling up on both sides. The reopening follows talks a day earlier between Islamabad and Kabul.

At least four people were killed in fighting in the area last Sunday, heightening the dispute over Pakistan's plan to build a barrier at the crossing to stop fighters coming in from Afghanistan. 

At least 20 others have also been wounded in outbreaks of shooting on both sides.


READ MORE: Border guard killed in Pakistan-Afghanistan clashes


That plan to build a barrier angered Afghanistan which rejects the colonial-era Durand Line border drawn up in 1893 and does not want a solid recognition of the boundary.

The Torkham crossing is usually used by about 15,000 Afghans every day. Following the restrictions implemented by Pakistan earlier in June, it was closed to anyone who did not have a visa and a valid passport.

The crossing is a way of making ends meet for many. It is usually packed with cargo-filled trucks and minibuses crammed with passengers.

Some walk, from entire families and merchants to children, often on their own.

Thousands of vehicles normally pass through the crossing every week, making it a vital trade link between the countries.

Among those waiting to cross were members of a family who wanted to attend a funeral.


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