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Atmar: Tense Meeting with Iran over Border Deaths

The Afghan parliament on Wednesday summoned high-ranking government officials to brief them on the recent reports of the death and torture of a group of Afghan nationals in border areas with Iran. 

According to the reports, at least 20 Afghan nationals have been “drowned” by Iranian border forces – a claim that Iran denies

Among those summoned was Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar, who told lawmakers that their discussion with Iranian officials on Tuesday evening ended with tension and that, so far, 16 of the Afghan nationals have been rescued, 18 to 20 are missing, and 16 bodies have been found.

Atmar said that some of the drowned Afghans might have been carried away by the river towards Turkmenistan.

But Atmar assured those at the hearing that all diplomatic channels would be used to address the issue, and said that a joint team of Afghan and Iranian officials will be formed to probe the incident.

Also at the meeting, Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, Sayed Husain Alemi Balkhi said that Iran has recently decided not to extend the stay of 450,000 Afghans in that country.

Balkhi said that over the past two weeks Iran has deported 100 to 200 Afghan nationals a day.

Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in a tweet on Wednesday called the reported death of Afghans in the border areas with Iran an “unforgivable crime” and said the Foreign Affairs Ministry will thoroughly follow the issue to ensure justice.

Atmar: Tense Meeting with Iran over Border Deaths

Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Haneef Atmar says all diplomatic means will be used to address the issue.

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The Afghan parliament on Wednesday summoned high-ranking government officials to brief them on the recent reports of the death and torture of a group of Afghan nationals in border areas with Iran. 

According to the reports, at least 20 Afghan nationals have been “drowned” by Iranian border forces – a claim that Iran denies

Among those summoned was Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar, who told lawmakers that their discussion with Iranian officials on Tuesday evening ended with tension and that, so far, 16 of the Afghan nationals have been rescued, 18 to 20 are missing, and 16 bodies have been found.

Atmar said that some of the drowned Afghans might have been carried away by the river towards Turkmenistan.

But Atmar assured those at the hearing that all diplomatic channels would be used to address the issue, and said that a joint team of Afghan and Iranian officials will be formed to probe the incident.

Also at the meeting, Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, Sayed Husain Alemi Balkhi said that Iran has recently decided not to extend the stay of 450,000 Afghans in that country.

Balkhi said that over the past two weeks Iran has deported 100 to 200 Afghan nationals a day.

Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in a tweet on Wednesday called the reported death of Afghans in the border areas with Iran an “unforgivable crime” and said the Foreign Affairs Ministry will thoroughly follow the issue to ensure justice.

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