At least two Iranian border guards were killed and two others injured in fierce clashes with the Taliban at a border outpost in southeastern Iran on Saturday, reports Anadolu Agency.
It was not immediately clear what triggered the clashes, which came amid fresh tensions between the two neighboring countries over a long-running water dispute.
The incident, Iran’s state media reported, happened around noon when Taliban soldiers opened fire at the Sasuli border outpost in Sistan-Baluchestan’s Zabol county near the Afghan border.
The border guards of the Zabol regiment, it said, retaliated to the Taliban fire, resulting in casualties on the Afghan side as well. The figure, however, is not yet known.
The commander of the border outpost in Sasuli was killed by the Taliban last week.
Qasem Rezaei, Iran’s deputy police chief, was quoted as saying by state media that the Taliban initiated the clashes, which he said was “in contravention of international law and principles of good neighborliness.”
He hastened to add that Iranian border guards gave a “decisive” response after issuing “initial warnings.”
After the clashes broke out, reports said, Iran’s police chief Ahmadreza Radan gave directives to “defend the borders.”
In a statement on Twitter, Abdul Nafi Takor, a spokesman for the Taliban’s interim Interior Ministry, said Iranian border forces fired toward Afghanistan in the Nimroz province, which Taliban border forces responded to.
He added that the situation is “under control now” and that the de facto Taliban administration in Kabul “does not want to fight with its neighbors.”
The spokesman confirmed that at least one person was killed on the Afghan side as well,.