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Iranian Guards’ Fire Being Probed: Musazai

janan musazai

KABUL – The Foreign Ministry said it was dispatching a delegation to Iran on Sunday to investigate reported casualties among Afghans at the hands of Iranian guards near the shared border. At least four Afghans were reportedly killed and 10 others injured when Iranian guards opened fire at them while attempting to cross the border into the neighbouring country from northwestern Farah province on Friday.

Around 350 Afghans, heading to Iran from Farah, came under fire from Iranian border guards, who allegedly held 21 of the illegal migrants following the shooting incident. Some Afghan officials put at 150 the number of missing Afghans, saying that 10 wounded people had been brought to a district hospital in Farah. A Meshrano Jirga member from Farah, Gul Ahmad Azimi, claimed several others wounded Afghans remained in Iran. But Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Musazai told reporters in Kabul exact figures for those killed and wounded in the shooting were yet to be known. He said officials in Farah and Iran had been asked to provide details about the casualties.

Musazai said his ministry was tracking the incident and that it had been decided to send a delegation, headed by Farah Governor Mohammad Akram Khpalwak, to Iran for an investigation. He said the delegation’s visit to Iran had been planned before the shooting occurred, but now it would discuss with Iranian officials the incident too besides other issues.

He said Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul on Saturday summoned Iran’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Abul Fazl Zuhra and lodged with him a strong protest over the shooting. Rassoul told the Iranian envoy the reaction of Iran should have been a civilian reaction, not a military one, according to Musazai, who urged Afghans not to enter Iran illegally.

He said an Afghan delegation would also visit Afghan prisoners languishing Iranian jails and discuss their cases with judicial officials there. Around 500 people on Sunday took to the streets in Farah City to protest the shooting incident. (PAN)

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