Iranian border guards shoot dead 11 Afghan citizens along smuggling route
A local source in the western Nimruz province confirmed to KabulNow that Iranian border guards killed 11 Afghans, including three children, in its Sistan and Balochistan province and sent back their dead bodies to the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan’s Nimruz province on Wednesday.
The source added that the Iranian border guards had shot dead these Afghans a few days earlier while they were trying to travel to Iran through a smuggling route.
KabulNow reached out to the Taliban’s local authorities for details about the incident, but they declined to comment.
Late in February, Habibullah Elham, Taliban’s head of information and culture department in Nimruz, had confirmed that the group received 55 dead bodies of Afghan refugees between 21 January and 19 February.
From 22 December 2022 through 20 January 2023, the Department’s records, showed a 46 dead bodies of Afghan refugees had been transferred from Iran to Taliban authorities in the province.
Iran is the destination for thousands of Afghans who enter the country on a daily basis either for employment opportunities, fleeing Taliban rule, or for being smuggled to European countries. They usually face harsh treatment by Iranian police and border guards which sometimes lead to their deaths.
The UNHCR, UN refugee agency, estimates that 500,000 -1,000,000 Afghans have newly fled to Iran since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. According to the UN agency, Iran hosts more than 3 million documented and undocumented Afghan refugees.