Afghanistan and Iran investigate deaths of 16 Afghan migrants near border
The allegations come as coronavirus lockdowns in Afghanistan have caused unemployment to spike and food prices to soar. As coronavirus spread in Iran earlier this year, more than 200,000 Afghans returned to Afghanistan. And now as the Afghan economy has been crippled by the pandemic, some are trying to return to Iran in search of work.
Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, told lawmakers Wednesday that talks with Iranian officials “ended with tension,” according to Afghan media reports. Atmar said that 16 bodies had been recovered from the site and that 18 to 20 people are missing.
Atmar launched a separate investigation by the Afghan government into the incident earlier this week, pledging in a tweet Tuesday, “we will pursue this unforgivable crime with all our country’s diplomatic means until we achieve justice and righteousness.” Atmar’s post included images from Afghan social media of bodies wrapped in cloth loaded into the back of a vehicle.