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Atmar, Zarif thrash out Afghan migrant drowning

AT News

KABUL: Acting Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar in a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, discussed allegations of drowning of Afghan citizens by Iranian border police.

Unofficial reports suggest that Iranian border guards threw more than 50 Afghans who were trying to illegally cross the border in Herat province into the Harirod river. The reports said that 20 of them died and the rest were rescued.

Iranian consulate in Herat province denied the reports.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday in a statement that Atmar and Zarif agreed on a serious investigation. It said that a government team was in Herat to assess the allegations.

“The investigation aims to find the facts and make decisions based on the facts as well as take preventive steps in the future,” the statement said.

Zarif told Atmar that his country would also start an investigation, with the latter asking for a joint meeting of two sides in Herat or Mashhad.

Some civil society activists gathered in front of Iranian consulate in Herat to protest the drowning of Afghan nationals. They called for punishment of the perpetrators by independent international tribunals.

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