Afghanistan slams Iran′s role in 3 migrant deaths | News | DW | 06.06.2020
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Afghanistan slams Iran's role in 3 migrant deaths

Three Afghan migrants died after Iranian police shot at their vehicle, setting it ablaze. Initially, Iran denied its police were to blame.

Iranian officials said its police were to blame for the deaths of three Afghan migrants in Iran's central Yazd Province, Afghanistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Saturday.

Iranian police shot at the vehicle, setting it ablaze, the Afghan ministry reported on Friday.

The incident took place just a month after Iranian border guards denied killing dozens of Afghan migrants by forcing them into a river in the Afghan province of Herat.

The perpetrators would be held accountable, said the Afghan government in Saturday's statement, citing Iranian officials.

Afghanistan's government in Kabul would take further steps, following an investigation, the statement added.

Read more: Afghanistan probes Iran border migrant deaths

'Give me a bit of water, I am burning'

Afghans reacted angrily to the migrant deaths, after footage supposedly showing the incident went viral. The video shows one migrant escaping from the blazing car with burns on parts of his body, begging for water.

The migrant's words: "Give me a bit of water, I am burning" — have started trending in the country.

Afghan government officials said the video was genuine and that Afghans in Iran were working on identifying the victims.

"Iran has no right to kill Afghan refugees, they can seal their borders, expel all Afghans but not kill them," Ali Noori, a lawyer and rights activist, said on Facebook.

Iranian Embassy officials in the Afghan capital, Kabul, were not immediately available for comment, but a local official in Iran earlier denied police were responsible for the blaze.

Police fired on the vehicle after it crashed through a checkpoint, Ahmad Tarahomi, deputy Yazd governor, previously told Iranian state media. They suspected it of carrying drugs and undocumented migrants.

There are close to 1 million registered Afghan refugees living in Iran, and the country is thought to host another 2 million undocumented Afghans, according to UN reports.

Last month, Afghan officials said Iranian border guards killed 45 Afghan migrant workers after they were forced at gunpoint into the Hari River basin – bordering Afghanistan, Iran and Turkmenistan. Iran has denied the allegations.

kmm/sms (Reuters, dpa)

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