Iranian and Taliban forces exchange fire during a border skirmish

Iranian and Taliban forces exchange fire during a border skirmish
A Taliban fighter walks as he and others take a day off to visit the amusement park at Kabul’s Qargha reservoir, at the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan October 8, 2021. Picture taken October 8, 2021. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Since the US withdrew from Afghanistan last summer, the Taliban has had control over the country and its borders. This has meant that there have been some disputes between Afghanistan and bordering neighbors, like Iran and Pakistan.

With that, on Sunday, the Taliban reported that one of its soldiers was killed in a fight that broke out between Taliban forces and Iranian border guards on the southern part of their shared border. Iran said that there were no Iranian casualties. Both sides are blaming the other for starting the confrontation – Iranian news outlets are saying Iran responded to the Taliban raising a flag in an area that was Iranian territory. Still, it isn’t totally clear what exactly happened. Last month, Iran said one of its border guards was killed after another incident in the same area.

This is all part of the bigger picture of the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan. On top of frequent border clashes, the country is going through a major food crisis, and human rights in the country are being threatened despite the Taliban’s initial promises to keep them intact.

Key comments:

“We have one killed and one wounded; the cause of the clash is not clear yet," said Afghan regional police spokesman Bahram Haqmal to Reuters.

“Iranian border forces fired at a patrol of our border forces in Kang district of Nimroz province,” said a statement issued by Afghanistan’s Nimroz provincial information center. “After that [Iranian forces] fired in the area with light and heavy weapons. In this shooting, one of our border force personnel was martyred and another injured."

According to Iranian news agency Tasnim, Taliban forces tried to raise their flag “in an area which is not Afghan territory" and opened fire on some houses along the border, which led to “several minutes" of gunfire exchange.

“A border violation by the Taliban took place today … Our forces gave the necessary response," said an Iranian official in the region, Maysam Barazandeh, as quoted by Iranian state-run Fars news agency.