A border fight between the forces of Afghanistan's Taliban and Iran lead to the death of one Taliban soldier and left another one injured on Sunday (July 31). The fighting took place in Kong District in Nimroz, Afghanistan.
What Afghanistan says: Mawlawi Mohammad Ebrahim Jawed, Islamic Emirate Commander in the province of Nimroz, said that it was the Iranian forces which began the fighting at Nimroz, Al Jazeera reported.
What Iran says: Iran’s state run IRNA contradicted the Taliban’s stand and said it was the Taliban forces which started the fight. It said that the fight started when Taliban soldiers entered the Iranian soil in Hirmand, located in the province of Sistan and Balochistan, and tried to raise its own flag.
It said that the Taliban once again misunderstood a wall that Iran has built to contain smugglers. The wall, it said, does not represent the actual border between the two countries. It further said that once the Afghan soldiers entered the Iran soil, Iranian forces had to intervene.
Clashes in December 2021: This isn’t the first fight between the soldiers of both sides. Since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, many clashes have erupted between the two sides.
In December 2021, the two sides had clashed when Taliban soldiers had opened fire on Iranian farmers who had crossed the border between the two countries, Iranian news agency Tasnim reported. It also alleged that after firing, Taliban fighters had crossed several checkpoints of the Iranian territory. Both the sides suffered casualties.
The clashes came to an end after the two sides agreed to withdraw forces. Both Taliban and Iranian officials had called the incident “a misunderstanding at the local level”.
Afghanistan-Iran relations: The relations between the two countries have not been very friendly. Iran, which is Shiite country, has been at loggerheads with the Sunni fundamentalist ruled Afghanistan since decades.
What’s happening now: Since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US forces in August 2021, the Iranian government has not officially recognised the Taliban rule. It says that the recognition of Taliban as the official government would hinge on “inclusive” administration.
Apart from this, the two countries have also been against each other over the Helmand river issue.