Several people were killed in clashes between Pakistan's border forces and crowds trying to cross into Afghanistan for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, officials said Friday.
Differing accounts emerged from Kabul and Islamabad, with each nation blaming the other for Thursday's incident on the Pakistani side of the Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing.
Afghan officials accused Pakistan of firing shells and gunfire across the border into a crowd of civilians, killing 15 people, while Islamabad said Afghan forces opened fire first.
About 150 people had gathered at the crossing, many of them hoping to visit loved ones in Afghanistan for Eid al-Adha, said Usman Ali, the commissioner for the Quetta border region.
The normally busy crossing has been largely closed for months in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but was briefly opened Thursday morning.
Ali told AFP protesters grew angry when the crossing point was again closed in the afternoon.
"Frontier Corps troops deployed on the border fired into the air. This did not kill anyone but later protesters started throwing stones at the troops," Ali said.
He claimed the border guards then threw stones back, killing five protesters. He denied the guards had opened fire on people.
On the Afghan side meanwhile, Baheer Ahmad, a spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor, told AFP that 15 people had been killed and 80 others wounded "as a result of shelling and sporadic firing by the Pakistani border forces."
One policeman was among the dead, with the rest of the casualties civilians, he said.
Afghan defence ministry spokesman Fawad Aman said on Facebook that "attacks by the Pakistani military on Afghan soil on Thursday" had killed nine civilians and wounded 50 others.
However, Pakistan's foreign ministry blamed the Afghan military, saying Afghan forces "opened unprovoked fire on innocent civilians ... (and) Pakistan troops".
The Pakistani forces "acted only in self-defence," a statement read.
"This unfortunate incident resulted in numerous casualties and deliberate/serious damage to state infrastructure on the Pakistan side," the Pakistan ministry said.
Tensions are high between Pakistan and Afghanistan, with Kabul frequently lashing out at Islamabad for allegedly sheltering, funding and supplying the Taliban.
Pakistan denies the claims and says it wants to foster "fraternal" relations with its Islamic neighbour.