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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Designer / Design Director

£38000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B content marketing agen...

Austen Lloyd: Law Costs HOD - Southampton

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn