Advocacy group says Iran, Taliban fighting on border with Afghanistan as gunshots heard

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Taliban and Iran reportedly exchanged gunfire on the Islamic Republic’s border with Afghanistan on Saturday, an advocacy group said, as tensions mount over human rights. water between the two nations.

Neither Iranian state media nor Taliban-controlled media in Afghanistan have acknowledged the fighting on the border between Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province and Afghanistan’s Nimroz province.

Advocacy group HalVash, which reports on problems in the predominantly Sunni province of Sistan and Baluchestan, quoted locals describing the fighting as having started on Saturday morning. The group placed the fighting near Kang district in Nimroz, saying some people in the area had been evacuated.

Videos posted online, allegedly from the area, included the crackle of machine gun fire in the distance.

The apparent clash comes as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi earlier this month warned the Taliban not to violate Iran’s water rights on the Helmand River. Raisi’s remarks represented some of the strongest concerns to date about water in Iran.

Drought has been a problem in Iran for about 30 years, but has worsened in the past decade, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The Iranian Meteorological Organization says around 97% of the country now faces some level of drought.

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