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Iran halts trade through Afghan border crossings amid Taliban incursions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows trucks travelling through the Dogharoun crossing located on Iran’s eastern border with Afghanistan.

Iran’s customs office IRICA has urged businesses not to send export shipments to two main border crossings with Afghanistan after reports showed that Taliban insurgents had occupied facilities on the other side of the border.

IRICA spokesman Rouhollah Latifi said in a statement on Thursday that trade had been halted through Dogharoun and Mahirood border crossings located along Iran’s eastern border with Afghanistan.

Latifi said the closures were imposed after developments were reported on the opposite side of the border affecting the Afghan customs offices in Islam Qala and in Sheikh Abu Nasr Farahi crossings.

The announcement came just after reports showed that Taliban forces had stormed customs offices in the two locations.

The Taliban has launched an all-out offensive since earlier this month to take control of many urban and rural districts across Afghanistan.

That has come after international forces led by the United States announced that they were withdrawing from Afghanistan some 20 years after they occupied the country to depose a Taliban government.

However, Afghan security sources said on Thursday that they would take back control of customs offices and other administrative buildings occupied by the Taliban in western provinces bordering Iran.

Local authorities in the province of Herat said the withdrawals against Taliban forces had been tactical, saying they will launch a fresh offensive to take back control of government premises in two cities that have been affected by Taliban incursions.

IRICA’s Latifi said that trade between Iran and Afghanistan was flowing normally through a third major border crossing in Milak in southeastern Iran.


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