Afghanistan: At least 100 oil tankers destroyed at the Iranian border

On Sunday, officials said at least 100 tankers were destroyed in a fire that broke out on Saturday at one of Iran’s largest border crossings, causing millions of dollars in losses.

We know that (at least) between 100 and 200 trucks have been destroyed. “We need more time to determine the extent of the damage,” said Gilani Farhad, spokesman for Herat’s governor, after visiting the site of the accident.

The fire is still going on, but it has been largely extinguished, and the investigation is underway.

Farhad added, a number confirmed by health officials, that about 20 wounded were hospitalized in the wake of the fire, which began early on Saturday afternoon at the Islam Qala al-Hodoudi checkpoint.

Yunus Qazizadeh, head of the Herat Chamber of Commerce, said that while firefighters were trying to extinguish the fire, thieves stormed the place and stole imported and exported goods at the border.

“The disaster is much bigger than we thought,” he said.

“Unfortunately, shameless thieves looted a lot of property,” Zadeh said.

Saturday estimated “millions of dollars in losses.”

An AFP photographer who visited the site on Sunday described the flames and smoke still floating over the charred carcasses.

Security forces opened fire on a car on Sunday, killing a man after the driver failed to stop at a checkpoint set up to protect the customs office from thieves.

Hundreds of people, claiming to be truck owners, gathered around the police cordon, hoping to approach the site of the fire.

According to the Finance Ministry, the fire broke out in a truck, according to pre-war reports.

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The accident resulted in “heavy financial losses”, including fuel, tankers and infrastructure for the customs office, expressing his regret.

The ministry said a delegation had been sent from Kabul to investigate the incident.

A large part of Herat state was without electricity on Sunday due to damaged power lines.

Leaks to Iran

Islam Qala is one of the most important border crossings in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has been granted an exemption from Washington allowing it to import Iranian gasoline and gas despite US sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the border “was open to trucks, cars and people fleeing the fire to Iran.”

According to Afghan Vice President Amarullah Saleh, hundreds of trucks managed to enter Iran for protection.

Farhad said Afghan and Iranian firefighters were still on site to extinguish the recent small fires.

He said the Taliban, taking advantage of the situation, attacked a nearby security post during the fire on Saturday.

The latter regularly attacks tanker trucks that are suspected of supplying foreign forces in Afghanistan.

In 2014, the rebels claimed responsibility for an attack near Kabul that destroyed more than 200 tanks.

However, there is no indication that the group was responsible for the Sabbath fire.

However, security forces were deployed around the border post.

Despite the peace talks between the Taliban and Kabul that began in Doha in September, not a day passes in the country without an explosion, attacks on government forces, or an assassination.

These negotiations between the Afghan parties are on hold today.

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Once US President Joe Biden took office, his administration ordered a review of the agreement signed with the Taliban in February 2020 in Doha, which provided for the complete withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan by May 1.

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