Taliban Responsible for Murder of Nine Iranian Diplomats; Iran Prepares for Possible Attack
Taliban spokesperson Vakil Ahmad Motevakel said that Taliban forces were responsible for the murders of 9 Iranian diplomats during the Taliban's capture of Kandahar last month. He claimed that the killers had acted without the permission of Taliban officials and would be punished.
Two Iranian diplomats and a journalist who accompanied the diplomats around the time of the murders are still missing. Motevakel claims no knowledge of their whereabouts.
The Iranian government has stated that is does not intend to attack Afghanistan, but its action suggest otherwise to many. Iranian news agency IRNA reported yesterday that army forces are being deployed to the Baluchestan province, near Afghanistan's southwestern Nimruz province. Seventy-thousand troops were already stationed along the Afghan border.
According to reports in London's Al-Hayat newspaper, the Taliban has also organized forces at the countries' borders, and has armed citizens near the Iranian border.
Media Resources: Iranian Times and Global Intelligence Updates - September 11, 1998