At least two Iranian border guards and one Taliban security force have been killed after clashes between Taliban and Iranian forces at the border crossing point, according to a Taliban spokesperson and Iranian state media on Saturday.
The incident, which also resulted in several injuries, occurred amid tensions between the two countries over water rights, although the exact cause was not immediately known.
“Today, in Nimroz province, Iranian border forces fired toward Afghanistan, which was met with a counter-reaction,” a spokesman for the Taliban-run interior ministry, Abdul Nafi Takor, said in a statement. “During the battle, one person was killed on each side, and many were injured.”
Earlier, Qasem Rezaei, the deputy police commissioner in Iran, said: “Without respecting international laws and good neighbourliness, Taliban forces started shooting at the Sasoli checkpoint… drawing a decisive response,” IRNA reported.
While the Taliban authorities claimed that Iranian soldiers started shooting first at the Taliban forces, and they had responded to their shootings.
Taliban defence ministry spokesperson Enayatullah Khowarazmi said: “Unfortunately, today, once again, in the border areas of Kong district of Nimroz province, there was a shooting by Iranian soldiers, and a conflict broke out.”
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers dialogue and negotiation reasonable for any problem. Making excuses for war and negative actions is not in the interest of any of the parties,” Khowarazmi said.
The border clashes occurred in the Nimroz province of Afghanistan’s Makaki region, close to Kang district, near Zabol in Iran’s southeastern Sisstan-Balochistan.
Last week, Iranian officials warned the Taliban to consider Iran’s water rights from the Helmand River following the 1973 treaty, while the Taliban authorities abide by the treaty but claim that there is not enough water in the river and Kajaki dam to reach the neighbouring country.