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Afghan Border Security Officer Questioned About Killings


Afghan authorities are questioning a senior security officer about last week's killing of 16 people near the Pakistani border.

Governor Asadullah Khaled of southern Kandahar province, where the incident occurred March 21, says the security officer of the Spin Boldak region has been suspended and is being questioned.

The officer, Abdul Razak, says his soldiers killed 16 suspected Taleban fighters after they crossed the border from Pakistan. But Pakistan says the victims were Pakistani civilians on the way to Afghanistan for a festival.

Local Afghans and Pakistanis from the nearby town of Chaman support the Pakistani claim.

The incident occurred amid strains in Pakistan-Afghan relations because of Kabul's frequent complaint of cross border raids by Taleban and al-Qaida insurgents.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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