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Traders suffering economic losses due to Torkham border closure

Traders have reported economic losses as key border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan remains closed for a fourth day since a deadly clash erupted between Taliban and Pakistani border forces.

The Torkham border, which is the main point of transit for travelers and goods between the two neighbors, was closed on Wednesday morning after border guards from both sides exchanged heavy gunfire, killing at least eight people and wounding 20 others.

The Taliban blamed Pakistani border forces for starting the skirmish after their guards were trying to set up a security check post close to the Torkham crossing gate.

While Taliban and Pakistani authorities try to broker a solution to reopen the crossing, hundreds of good vehicles remain stuck along the border or diverted to local markets.

One trader told KabulNow that many traders were forced to sell perishable goods, including vegetables and fruits, at lower prices in local markets in Jalalabad after some of their fresh supplies were ruined.

The vegetable and fruit prices declined by 50% in these local markets, traders said, attributing it to ripple effects of the border closure.

The border closure has also left passengers and travelers, including patients intending to visit Pakistani hospitals, stranded.

It is unclear if the Torkham border crossing will reopen soon.

The crossing has been a bone of contention between Afghanistan and Pakistan for years and has been closed several times in recent years, including a closure in February that saw thousands of travelers and trucks laden with goods stranded for several days.