Afghans condemn Iranian police after refugees killed in car blaze

Iran says about 2.5 million Afghan migrants, both legal and undocumented, live there. Above, Afghan returnees at a transit center in Herat after arriving from Iran in this January 3, 2019 photo. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 06 June 2020

Afghans condemn Iranian police after refugees killed in car blaze

  • Footage posted on social media showed a boy escaping from the blazing car with burns on parts of his body

KABUL: Afghans have taken to social media to denounce Iranian police after a video of a car carrying with Afghan refugees set ablaze in Iran went viral, arousing new anger weeks after Afghan officials accused Iranian border guards of drowning migrants.
Afghanistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday three Afghans were killed and four injured in Iran’s central Yazd province after their vehicle was shot at by Iranian police, triggering the fire.
Video footage posted on social media showed a boy escaping from the blazing car with burns on parts of his body and begging for water. The ministry said the video was genuine and Afghans in Iran were trying to identify the victims.
The boy’s plea of “give me some water, I am burning” was widely circulated on social media and taken up by rights group demanding justice.
“Iran has no right to kill Afghan refugees, they can seal their borders, expel all Afghans but not kill them,” said Ali Noori, a lawyer and rights activist said on Facebook.
Afghans have for decades sought refuge in Iran from war and poverty in their homeland.
Iran says about 2.5 million Afghan migrants, both legal and undocumented, live there. Facing its own economic problems worsened by international sanctions, Iran has at times tried to send Afghans home.
Last month, Afghan officials said Iranian border guards killed 45 Afghan migrant workers by forcing them at gunpoint into a mountain torrent on the border.
At the time, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi issued a statement saying only that the incident in question had taken place on Afghan soil.
Iranian embassy officials in Afghan capital, Kabul were not immediately available for comment on the latest incident.


Iraq PM in talks with UK's Boris Johnson on security, political reforms

Updated 32 min 44 sec ago

Iraq PM in talks with UK's Boris Johnson on security, political reforms

  • Johnson expressed his strong support for the Iraq government
  • Both leaders discussed issues of bilateral interest, and discussed recent political and security issues

LONDON: Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson discussed security challenges in the Middle East on Thursday.
A-Khadimi met the UK leader at Downing Street as part of an a European tour. 
Johnson expressed his strong support for the Iraq government as they discussed economic reforms, the coronavirus pandemic and the continued effort to defeat Daesh.
The Twitter account of Al-Kadhimi's office said both leaders discussed issues of bilateral interest, and discussed recent political and security issues in Iraq and the region. 
They also agreed on more cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
“It was agreed to increase more cooperation in the field of combating terrorism, as well as in the political and economic sectors, in light of the economic challenges that Iraq faces,” his office said.
Prior to his UK trip, Al-Kadhimi met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
During these visits, Al-Kadhimi discussed Iraq’s main challenges such as the fight against terrorism and foreign interference in its affairs.
The Iraqi leader, who became prime minister in May, has a particularly affinity with the UK, having lived there for many years after fleeing Iraq in the 1980s.