an intense shooting between the taliban and Iran took place this Saturday at the border of the Islamic Republic with Afghanistanamid an increase in tensions for the dispute over right to water from the area.
The parties blamed each other for the start of these hostilities, which left at least three dead: two Iranian border guards and a Taliban civilian. However, other versions report two civilian casualties and three Iranian guards in the area.
As reported by the Iranian state news agency IRNAciting the Deputy Chief of Police, General Qassem Rezaeithe clashes took place in the province of Sistan and Balochistanon his side, and in the Afghan Nimroz. There were “numerous casualties and serious damage” as well as the closure of the Milak pass -an important trade route-, he added.
iran promised don’t let this offense pass and assured that “will respond decisively to any crossing of borders and aggression, and the current Afghan authorities must be held accountable for their excessive actions and contrary to international principles”, said General Ahmadreza Radan, head of the Police.
For its part, Afghanistan condemned the hostilities and called for an immediate end to the attacks.
“Today, in Nimruz, Iranian border forces fired into Afghanistan, which was met with a backlash,” Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafi Takor wrote on his Twitter account, while Defense Minister Enayatullah Khawarazmi wrote on his Twitter account. issued a statement that read: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers dialogue to be a reasonable avenue for any problem. Making excuses for war and negative actions does not benefit either party.”
Residents of the area commented in dialogue with the defense group HalVash, that machine gun shots had been heard in the distance and they even found remains of mortar shells, which confirmed that “heavy weapons are being used.”
The confrontation occurred at a time when relations between the two countries have become tense and after, at the beginning of the month, President Ebrahim Raisi warned the other party not to violate his country’s rights to the water of the Helmand river. , in dispute since 1973.
This watercourse, which originates in the Hindu Kush mountains and runs for 1,300 kilometers to its mouth at Lake Hamun in Sistan and Balochistan, is essential for local agriculture.
Tehran accuses Kabul of breaching the agreement reached in 1973 in which the latter promised to supply it with 820 million cubic meters of water a year to deal with, among other things, the drought.
Iran has been facing this water problem for more than 30 years, which, in the last decade, has only worsened, warned the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Even the local Meteorological Organization claims that 97% of the country is facing some level of drought today.
In an attempt to reach a peaceful solution to this friction, before it escalates into violence, early this Saturday the Taliban’s acting Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqui, met with an Iranian envoy to the country to discuss the topic.
“Issues between the two countries will be best resolved through dialogue,” they remarked after the meeting.
(With information from AP, EFE and AFP)
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