PAN, October 13, 2011

Civilian injured as Afghan, Iran border guards trade fire

After an investigation, the delegation found that Iranian border police had violated the Afghan border

By Ramin

An Afghan civilian was wounded during an exchange of fire between Afghan and Iranian border guards in southwestern Nimroz province, an official said on Thursday.

The trade fire took place after Iranian border guards violating Afghanistan's border wanted to dig a canal in a disputed area, a police officer told Pajhwok Afghan News on condition of anonymity.

Ghulam Dastgir Azaad, who ran western Nimroz for five years, said he frequently investigated and was sometimes an intended target of attacks inside Afghanistan which variously used Iranian supplied weapons or Iranian trained militants.
"No one pays much attention to Iran as Pakistan but that's a mistake... Iran plays its own hidden game to increase its influence in western areas," he told Reuters on Sunday in an interview at his Kabul apartment.
Reuters, Oct. 25, 2010

The clash that erupted at 1:00pm on Wednesday continued until 3:00pm after Afghan border police prevented Iranians' move, he said, adding Iranian guards resumed firing on Afghan police at 4:00pm. The second time crossfire continued until 6:00pm, the official said.

Mortar shells fired by Iranian forces landed in the area, but there were no casualties, the source said.

Brig. Gen. Abdul Jabar Purdali, the provincial police chief, confirmed the clash, saying one Afghan civilian was slightly injured as a result of the clash.

The clash comes after both countries' border police exchanged fire on September 14, when Iranian guards tried to set up a check-post and dig a canal in the disputed area.

A delegation of Meshrano Jirga led by Bhai Murad Kowenly, the border and tribal affairs commission head, was sent to the province on October 4 to resolve the issue.

After an investigation, the delegation found that Iranian border police had violated the Afghan border, where a boundary wall had been constructed. The delegation noticed that Iranian border guards wanted to set up the check-post in the area falling in Afghan territory.

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