Rocket attacks traded after Iran tries to build secret base
Tuesday 01 November 2011
An exchange of rockets between Iran and Afghanistan last month occurred after Iran attempted to build clandestine military installations on its neighbour's territory, a senior Afghan police official said.
While rocket attacks from Pakistani soil on to Afghanistan's eastern border have gained considerable publicity in recent weeks, the skirmish in the west has attracted less attention.
According to General Mohammed Naieem Chaghansori, a senior official at police headquarters in Nimroz province, the incident occurred after Afghan border police discovered Iranians attempting to establish a base on Afghan territory. Afghan media reported in mid-October that two missiles from Iran landed in Nimroz.
The Afghan security forces shot two rockets in the direction of the Iranians and they retaliated by firing eight rockets into the Kang district of Nimroz province, General Chaghansori said.
One Afghan teenager was injured by an Iranian rocket. "The Iranians were trying to build a military base secretly but immediately we got to know of this and we prevented them from building a base," General Chaghansori said. "We tried to solve the problem through negotiations but [the Iranians] insisted: 'It's Iranian soil and we will build here.' After we realised they would not listen to us we shot a few rockets into the air."
General Chaghansori added: "The Iranian police are standing by to try and attack again but the Afghan border police will stand against them and not let them take this type of action." Shukria Barakzai, the chairwoman of the Defence Affairs Commission in the Afghan parliament's lower house, confirmed the exchange, and admitted similar incidents had occurred from time to time over the past nine months.
Ms Barakzai said it is likely that Iran is feeling "vulnerable" as Afghanistan prepares to sign a long-term strategy partnership with the United States.
"Of course Iran is very unhappy," she said. "They don't like to see this happening under their nose. Iran wants to show its power in Afghanistan."
While in some ways Iran and the US share the same goal in preventing a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, Iranian Interior Minister, Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, has stated firmly that a strategic partnership between the US and Afghanistan would pose a threat to his country's interests.
Iranians are particularly opposed to permanent US bases in Afghanistan after international combat troops leave in 2014. And fears linger, even though the American ambassador, Ryan Crocker, has said the US has "no interest in permanent bases in Afghanistan" or any interest in trying to exert control on the region from Afghanistan.
However, the US is currently helping to expand Shindand Air Base in western Herat province, which borders Iran, and transform it into the main Afghan airforce training base in the country.
The commander of the Nato Training Mission in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General William B Caldwell, has already said US mentors and trainers will remain at the base until at least 2016.
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
China's 'Inconvenient Truth': video exposing country’s smog crisis watched 100 million times
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
£38000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B content marketing agen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...