Two Iranian border guards killed in clashes with Taliban

Two Iranian border guards have been killed and two civilians wounded during clashes with armed members of the Taliban in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan.

An Iranian police official said on Saturday the Taliban started shooting at a border post in violation of international law and the principles of good neighborliness.

“Around 10:00 a.m. (local time) today, Taliban forces from Afghanistan started shooting with all kinds of weapons at Sasoli police station located in Zabol border regiment,” IRNA quoted the deputy head of the police force, Qassem Rezaei, as saying on Saturday. He said the brave Iranian border guards responded “decisively” to the shooting.

Following the shooting, the official said, the Iranian side gave the necessary warnings to the Taliban attackers in accordance with border protocols but “unfortunately, the shooting started again hours ago and the clashes continue.”

Rezaei said Iran’s police chief Ahmad Reza Radan gave all the “necessary firm orders” to the border guards to “bravely and resolutely defend the borders and not allow anyone to trespass or approach the border.”

In his order, Radan said the “current rulers of Afghanistan must be held accountable for their ill-considered actions that are contrary to international principles.”

Meanwhile, the information center of the Sistan and Baluchestan border guard command said in a statement the Iranian forces at Zabol regiment engaged in clashes with “unknown armed individuals who sought to enter the Islamic Republic of Iran.” It said the border guards inflicted heavy damage on Taliban forces and are safeguarding the region now.

Tasnim news agency rejected “completely false” reports about the use of missiles by the Iranian forces and said, “Light and semi-light weapons and artillery have been used in the clashes.” It said reports that Zaranj Airport in Afghanistan was targeted by Iranian forces are “unreal and false.”

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