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Afghan Officials: Iran Police Shot Migrants’ Vehicle, Killing Three People

The Afghan ambassador in Iran Abdul Ghafoor Liwal meets the injuried Afghan in Yazd, Iran. June 6, 2020

Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry says that authorities of Iran’s Yazd Province have accepted that their police forces shot a vehicle carrying Afghan migrants earlier this week, killing three people.

The ministry said on June 6 that four others were wounded as the vehicle caught fire after it was shot.

A video showing an Afghan boy escaping from a blazing vehicle with burns on parts of his body has been widely circulating on social media in recent days, causing outrage among Afghans. The boy can be heard saying “Give a bit of water, I am burning.” This has also turned into a trending hashtag.

The ministry said the video was genuine.

Abdul Ghafoor Lewal, Afghanistan’s envoy in Tehran visited the four Afghan nationals getting treatment in a Yazd hospital. Photos published by Afghan media show that at least one of the injured is handcuffed to the hospital bed.

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

The Afghan Foreign Ministry said that Yazd officials have told the Afghan government they would hold the perpetrators of the incident accountable.

The ministry added that the Afghan government would take further steps after conducting a probe.

Last month, Afghan officials said Iranian border guards killed 45 Afghan migrant workers by forcing them at gunpoint into a river on the border. Iran denied the allegation.

According to the United Nations, there are currently close to 1 million registered Afghan refugees living in Iran, while the country hosts another 2 million undocumented Afghans.

Based on reporting by dpa, Reuters,