Iran, Taliban exchange fire at border after 'misunderstanding' over farmers

Iran, Taliban exchange fire at border after 'misunderstanding' over farmers
2 min read
02 December, 2021
No one was hurt in the altercation, which Iran's foreign ministry spokesman reportedly described as a 'misunderstanding'.
The fighting is over, according to an Iranian security official [Stringer/Anadolu/Getty-file photo]

Taliban and Iranian forces fought at the Afghanistan-Iran border on Wednesday after members of the insurgent group reportedly shot at Iranian farmers.

The incident happened on the border between the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan and Afghanistan's Nimroz province, Iran's semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported.

"This evening, a dispute between the border residents caused a shooting in the Sistan border area, which had been managed and ended with the coordination of the border guards on both sides," said Iranian foreign affairs ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

The fighting was caused by a "misunderstanding", Tasnim quoted Khatibzadeh as saying.

No one was hurt in the altercation, according to the report.

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Taliban members, not knowing the precise location of the Iranian side of the border, had shot towards farmers performing inspections on their property near the frontier, the Sistan and Baluchestan governor's second-in-command for security, Mohammad Marashi, told the state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

The Iranian border force fired back in response, he said.

"This confrontation, the crossfire, took place and lasted for almost a few hours," Marashi said.

"With the negotiations that have taken place and the follow-ups that have taken place, the situation is calm and there is no particular problem."

Online reports that the border had been taken by the Taliban were false, Marashi said.

Footage had allegedly depicted Taliban fighters within one of Iran's border installations.

According to Tasnim, "some of the published footage was from the early moments of fighting".

Fellow Iranian military-linked outlet Fars did not refer to the Taliban but suggested smugglers could have been to blame.