18 more bodies of drowned Afghan migrants found

Kabul: Eighteen more bodies of Afghan migrants, who were allegedly drowned by Iranian guards in a river near the two countries’ border, have been found, taking the total number of victims to 34, officials said.

The 18 bodies were found on Saturday, TOLO News quoted officials in Herat province as saying.

One of the official said that an Afghan delegation has started investigating the incident in Gulran district.

According to the Foreign Ministry here, initial assessments suggested that at least 70 Afghans who were trying to enter Iran from bordering Herat province were beaten and pushed into the Harirud river last week.

The Harirud river basin is shared by Afghanistan, Iran and Turkmenistan.

Last week, an Afghan official said that so far 16 of the Afghan nationals have been rescued, while 18 to 20 were still missing.

On May 7, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he was “appalled” by the reports and called on the Afghan government to open a “full investigation”.

But the Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry rejected Pompeo’s remarks, saying some people were trying to disrupt Kabul-Tehran ties by making conspiracies.

The Iranian government has rejected the involvement of its border guards in the incident.

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