Pakistanis Arrest 90 Afghans at Border

Border guards arrested 90 Afghans on Monday for illegally entering Pakistan and deported 43 others who were arrested several weeks ago, officials said.

The 43 men were handed over to Afghan authorities in the town of Chaman, the main border crossing between southern Afghanistan and Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, said Abdul Basir, a border security official.

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The deported Afghans were arrested about 20 days ago in Gawadar, an Arabian Sea coastal town in Baluchistan, Basir said.

The 90 men were arrested by paramilitary troops for entering Chaman without travel documents, said Capt. Shahid, an official with the Frontier Constabulary, which guards the border near Chaman. Shahid uses only one name.

The arrested Afghans will be questioned by the Federal Investigation Agency, which deals with immigration issues, Shahid said.

Baluchistan, of which Quetta is the capital, shares a long border with Afghanistan and is home to a large number of Afghan refugees.

In recent months, police in the province have arrested a large number of Afghans, including several suspected members of the Taliban militia. Many have been handed over to Afghan officials.

A U.S. military invasion ousted the Taliban from power in Afghanistan in late 2001 for harboring Al Qaeda.