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Afghan-Pakistan Border Crossing Shut Over Flag-Burning Dispute

Pakistan security official guarding the Pakistan-Afghan border in Chaman, Balochistan Province (file photo)

A major crossing on the Afghan-Pakistan border has been closed over a dispute over the burning of a Pakistani flag by Afghan demonstrators last week.

Pakistani officials said the Chaman crossing was closed after a group of Afghan youth celebrating the country's independence day on August 19 ransacked the border gate and burned a Pakistani flag.

Pakistani and Afghan officials held meetings over the weekend to resolve the issue, but no agreement was reached.

Hundreds of trucks carrying food and other goods were parked on both sides of the border on August 22.

Chaman, in the southwest Pakistani province of Balochistan, is one of the two major border crossings. The other is Torkham in northwest Pakistan.

Torkham was closed for weeks earlier this year when troops from both countries clashed over a border post Pakistan had planned to build.

The controversial border posts have rekindled the thorny issue of the Durand Line, which Pakistan considers to be an international border but Afghanistan has never recognized.

Based on reporting by dpa and Dawn