ISLAMABAD    -   Two Pakistan Army men including a major and a sepoy were martyred in a blast on Friday in Mohmand District near the Pak-Afghan border, ISPR directorate said.

It said that Major Adeel Shahid and Sepoy Faraz Hussain were supervising the fencing work in an area along the Pak-Afghan border which carried critical infiltration route when targeted by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by terrorists from across the border, said the Director General ISPR directorate in a tweet.

“Major Adeel Shahid and Sepoy Faraz Hussain embraced shahadat on Pak-Afghan border in Mohmand District. Squad under shaheed officer was supervising fencing work in an area which carried critical infiltration route. Shaheeds fell victim to an IED planted by terrorists from across the border,” said the tweet.

Major Adeel belonged to Karachi while Sepoy Faraz hailed from Kotli district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in Mohmand.

Army soldiers are currently building border fences to check militant movement along the 2,400 kilometre-long Pak-Afghan frontier and often come under such attacks. The Taliban and other insurgents have used the area until recently for cross border attacks.

The incident comes less than a week after four soldiers of the Army were martyred and one other was injured in two separate incidents of firing by militants near the Afghan border.

The first of those incidents had occurred in North Waziristan tribal district, where miscreants had opened fire on a routine patrolling party of security forces near the Abba Khel area of Spinwam tehsil, claiming the life of Sepoy Akhtar Hussain, 23. Two miscreants were also killed in the subsequent exchange of fire. The

banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility for the ambush.

In the second incident in Dir, suspected terrorists had opened fire from across the Pak-Afghan border on Pakistani troops who were also busy in border fencing. Three soldiers were martyred.

Following the attacks, the Foreign Office had summoned the Afghan Charge d’Affaires to lodge a formal protest against the firing incidents.

Pakistan has already fenced over 900-km portion of the Afghan border so as to prevent movement of miscreants and terrorists between the two countries.

Pakistani forces have also conducted a series of operations against militant groups in the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the years. While officials say the area has largely been pacified, small attacks continue to take place.

PAKISTAN REJECTS AFGHAN STATEMENT

APP adds: Terming a recent statement of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs as irresponsible and unwarranted, Foreign Office spokesman Friday said Pakistan-Afghan border was an internationally recognised, official border between the two countries in accordance with all relevant international laws and conventions.

“Pakistan believes that 24/7 opening of the Torkham point along Pakistan-Afghanistan border is a significant step forward to facilitate the people and traders of both sides,” the Foreign Office statement said.

However, the spokesperson said such statements only serve to undermine the resolve for peace and cooperation between the two countries and should be avoided.