At least eight militants have been shot dead and two Pakistani soldiers killed in a skirmish along the restive border with Afghanistan, the Pakistani army says.
The military said in a statement on Monday that fierce clashes took place along the border in Bajaur in the tribal districts of northwest Pakistan.
“Terrorists from Afghanistan side attempted attack on Pakistani posts” along the border, the military said, adding that 8-10 of the attackers were killed.
“Captain Junaid Hafeez and Sepoy Raham embraced shahdat (martyrdom) while four soldiers sustained injuries,” added the statement.
The statement, however, did not specify when the incident happened but a security official said it was on Monday.
Elsewhere in the statement, the military said that Afghanistan’s failure to control its side of the border made it easy for “terrorists” to launch such raids.
Pakistan and Afghanistan regularly accuse each other of offering militants safe havens along the border between the two countries. Both sides, however, deny the allegation.
The two sides also accuse one another of not doing enough to stop militants engaging in cross-border raids.
The developments come as Islamabad tries to tighten its grip on the border with Afghanistan
Last year, Pakistan started building a barrier at the main border crossing in the northwestern town of Torkham. The move irked the government in Kabul.
The Pakistani military has dismissed Afghanistan’s criticism of the fencing plan, saying the activity is being performed well inside the Pakistani territory.
The two countries are in a dispute over the demarcation of the border, which is a key battleground in the fight against the Taliban.
Islamabad recognizes the Durand Line, the 1896 British-mandated border between the two neighbors, but Kabul says activity by either side along the line must be approved by both countries. Successive governments in Afghanistan have never recognized the border line with Pakistan.
Dozens of people have been killed in a series of cross-border clashes between the Pakistani and Afghan forces over the past months.