Alwaght- Two Iranian border guards have been killed and two civilians wounded during an exchange of gunfire after Taliban militants launched an unprovoked attack on a border outpost in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan.
Iran's deputy police chief said on Saturday the Taliban started shooting at a border post in violation of international law and the principles of good neighborliness.
“Around 10:00 a.m. (local time) today, Taliban forces from Afghanistan started shooting with all kinds of weapons at Sasoli police station located in Zabol border regiment,” IRNA quoted the deputy head of the national police force, Qassem Rezaei, as saying on Saturday.
He said the brave Iranian border guards responded "decisively" to the "unprovoked" shooting.
Following the attack, the official said, the Iranian side gave the necessary warnings to the Taliban attackers in accordance with border protocols but "unfortunately, the shooting started again hours ago and the clashes continue."
Rezaei said Iran's police chief Ahmad Reza Radan gave all the "necessary firm orders" to the border guards to "bravely and resolutely defend the borders and not allow anyone to trespass or approach."
In his order, Radan said the “current rulers of Afghanistan must be held accountable for their ill-considered actions that are contrary to international principles.”
Meanwhile, the information center of Sistan and Baluchestan border guard command said in a statement the Iranian forces at Zabol regiment engaged in clashes with "unknown armed individuals who sought to enter the Islamic Republic of Iran."
It said the border guards inflicted heavy damage on Taliban forces and are safeguarding the region now.
Tasnim news agency rejected as "completely false" reports about the use of missiles by the Iranian forces and said "light and semi-light weapons and artillery have been used in the clashes."
It said reports that Zaranj Airport in Afghanistan was targeted by Iranian forces is "unreal and false."
Iran closes trade border with Afghanistan
Director General of Road Maintenance and Transportation of Sistan and Baluchestan Ayyoub Kord said that following the Saturday attack, Iran stopped its trade exchanges with Afghanistan at the Milak border checkpoint "until further notice."
Meanwhile, deputy governor of Sistan and Baluchestan for security affairs told the Fars news agency that the situation on Iran-Afghanistan border is currently calm and under control.
"Border talks were held between the local officials of Iran and Afghanistan and both sides agreed to continue the talks to clarify the cause of the conflict," Alireza Marhemati added.
Tensions have spiked between Iran and Afghanistan in recent months over the Taliban government’s failure to honor a 1973 water-sharing treaty, and restricting the flow of water from the Helmand River to Iran's arid eastern regions.