A fire at Iran’s largest border crossing in Afghanistan on Saturday destroyed at least 100 tankers, causing millions of dollars in damage, officials said Sunday.
“It simply came to our notice then[au moins] 100 to 200 trucks were wrecked. We need more time to find out how much damage has been done, ”said Jailani Farhad, a spokesman for the governor of Herat province after visiting the scene.
Currently, the fires are almost extinguished and an investigation is underway.
Twenty people were rushed to hospital after a fire broke out at the Islam Khala border post on Saturday afternoon, officials said, confirming their health, Farhad said.
As firefighters tried to extinguish the blaze, looters entered the scene and stole imported and exported goods at the border, said Younus Khazi Jada, head of the Herat Chamber of Commerce.
“The disaster is much bigger than we thought,” he said.
“Unfortunately, shameless thieves robbed a lot of property,” Jada said.
On Saturday, he estimated “millions of dollars in losses.”
An AFP photographer, who visited the scene on Sunday, explained that fires and smoke were still hovering over the burnt bodies of vehicles.
Security forces opened fire on a vehicle Sunday after the driver failed to stop at a checkpoint set up to protect the customs office from burglars.
Hundreds of people claiming to be truck owners gathered around the police cordon in hopes of reaching the scene of the fire.
According to pre-military reports, the truck caught fire, the finance ministry said.
The incident caused “huge financial losses” as we lost fuel, tankers and customs office infrastructure, he lamented.
The ministry said it had sent a delegation from Kabul to investigate the incident.
Most of Herat province was without power on Sunday as power lines were damaged.
Flight to Iran
Islam Khala is one of the most important border crossings in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is exempt from Washington, which allows Iran to import gasoline and gas despite US sanctions.
The border is “open to trucks, cars and people fleeing fires in Iran,” said Saeed Khatibzadeh, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry.
Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh said hundreds of trucks had entered Iran for protection.
Farhad said Afghan and Iranian firefighters were still on the scene to put out the last small fire.
He said he took advantage of the situation and attacked a security post near the Taliban in a fire on Saturday.
The latter regularly attack tanker trucks suspected of supplying foreign troops to Afghanistan.
In 2014, rebels claimed responsibility for an attack near Kabul that destroyed more than 200 tankers.
However, there were no indications that the group was responsible for Saturday’s fire.
Security forces were deployed around the border.
Despite the Taliban-Kabul peace talks that began in Doha in September, not a single day goes by in the country without an explosion, attacks on government forces or targeted killings.
These inter-Afghan talks have stalled today.
As soon as United States President Joe Biden took office, his administration ordered a review of the agreement reached with the Taliban in Doha in February 2020, which would force the withdrawal of all American forces from Afghanistan by 1.Is May.