An Iranian border force member unwittingly crossed into Afghanistan while throwing punches at a truck driver on Monday afternoon, only to be arrested and beaten up by his Afghan counterparts at the Abreshum border post in Nimroz province.
The drama unfolded at about 2pm on Monday when Iranian border guards reportedly told an Afghan truck driver to stop at a checkpoint. However, according to sources, the driver ignored the orders. The border guard then apparently jumped into the cab and started throwing punches at the driver, who kept on moving.
Once on the Afghanistan side of the border, Taliban forces pulled the Iranian guard out of the truck and started manhandling him.
Social media footage shows Taliban forces steering the man, wearing an Iranian border guard uniform, towards a building. One Taliban border guard is seen holding the Iranian’s hands behind his back.
Sources told Amu TV that the Iranian soldier was held in Taliban custody for a few hours and beaten up. The sources also said that both sides then started shooting in the air, which resulted in the Abreshum border post being closed for several hours.
Another source, who works for an organization based at the Abreshum border, told Amu TV: “The Afghan driver wanted to drive into Afghanistan and was told to stop at a checkpoint by Iranian soldiers. The driver, who was transporting oil, did not pay attention to Iranian border guards and he drove the vehicle to the middle of the bridge. Again he was told to stop. [The Iranian] entered his truck and beat the Afghan driver. The driver took an Iranian soldier hostage, moved the vehicle, and entered the territory of Afghanistan.”
The source, who works for the department registering returning migrants, said the Iranian border guard was detained at the Abreshum border. He also said the border post between the two countries was closed.
Taliban officials in Nimroz have not commented as yet. However, Taliban border officials denied reports of tension between the two sides and said the incident had been a “personal fight”.
Ibrahim Hewad, the head of the Taliban’s border department in Nimroz, said: “There is no problem between the border guards of Afghanistan and Iran. This was a civil matter, not a military issue.”
The Taliban media office in Nimroz also denied there were any border issues and stated: “There has been no tension on the Abreshum border and social networks published propaganda.”
Meanwhile, footage circulated on social media shows the Taliban man-handling the man.The incident took place a day after the Iranian Foreign Ministry handed over the Afghan Embassy in Tehran to the Taliban.