Rocket attacks traded after Iran tries to build secret base

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.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk