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Iranian forces, Taliban reportedly exchange fire across border

lllustrative: A group of Iranian border guards march at the eastern border of Iran shared with Pakistan and Afghanistan near Zabol, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran, on July 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
lllustrative: A group of Iranian border guards march at the eastern border of Iran shared with Pakistan and Afghanistan near Zabol, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran, on July 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

An exchange of fire erupts between Iranian forces and Afghanistan’s Taliban at Iran’s eastern border, according to local media reports.

“A clash erupted in the afternoon between Iranian border guards and the Taliban following a misunderstanding at the border near the [Afghan] province of Nimroz,” says Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

Iran, which shares a 900-kilometer (560-mile) border with Afghanistan, does not recognize the Taliban government formed after the insurgents seized the capital Kabul in August.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says a “border dispute between residents” of the area triggered the incident, without referring to the Taliban.

“The situation has been resolved. Shooting stopped after contact between border guards of the two countries,” he says in a statement.

Tasnim reports that “Iranian farmers passed beyond the protective walls erected within Iran, and the Taliban reacted by deeming that their border had been breached.” The Taliban opened fire and Iranian forces responded, it says.

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