Iranian Forces Clash with Taliban Forces on Afghan Border

On Wednesday, November 1, significant clashes were reported between Iranian forces and Afghanistan’s Taliban, according to social media and local Afghan media reports. On Wednesday, Afghanistan’s Aamaj news agency posted videos of the conflict on their social media account.

Iranian border guards and Taliban fighters were seen firing at each other along a border wall near Afghanistan’s Nimroz province in videos circulated online. The Taliban sent armored American Humvees and more fighters to the conflict zone, the clash began at noon and lasted nearly 5 hours, while Iranian forces fired heavy weaponry and artillery shells at the Taliban.

Unofficial Afghan sources claimed that the Taliban forces took the Dost Mohammed checkpoints and the Bala Siah Cheshman border in the Kong district of Nimroz province after confrontations between the Taliban and Iranian border guards escalated, killing many Iranian soldiers. Border checkpoints were set ablaze by Taliban fighters according to videos which surfaced online.

Fars News Agency, responding to claims in the Afghan press, stated that, contrary to reports, none of Iran’s border checkpoints were taken and that no border guards were killed. Fars described the Taliban as “oppressors,” reporting that the fighting arose from a dispute over agricultural land along the border, and that the Taliban withdrew following a severe response from border guards.

“Today, in the afternoon, some Iranian farmers were passing through walls near the Afghanistan border, built to combat smugglers in Iranian territory, while Taliban forces, believing there was a border violation, intervened and opened fire on Iranian border guards,” according to the semi-official Iranian news agency Tasnim. “As a result, Iranian forces retaliated against the Taliban’s harassment fire.”

The incident was triggered by a “border dispute between residents” in the area, according to Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh, who did not mention the Taliban. “The situation has been resolved. Shooting stopped after contact between border guards of the two countries,” he said in a statement.

Afghan television station Tolo News quoted Taliban deputy spokesperson Bilal Karimi as acknowledging the incident but declining to provide specifics. In a tweet, the station said, “He said the clashes had stopped and did not provide information about their cause.”