Official says missing laborers may be in Iran

Associated Press SHARE

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says the government is investigating reports that Iran is holding as many as 21 Afghan migrant workers who tried to cross illegally into the country looking for work.

Abdul Rahman Zhawandai, a spokesman for the governor of northwest Farah province, said Iranian border guards reportedly opened fire on migrant workers Friday but by Sunday officials were still trying to sort through contradictory reports from several of the shooting victims. Brought to a district hospital from the remote border regions, several of the wounded said four of their compatriots were killed and 21 were taken by the border guards, he said.

So far Iran has not responded to requests for information, he said.

Poor Afghans routinely try to enter Iran illegally in search of work as day laborers.

Elsewhere in the country on Sunday, a roadside bomb killed a district prosecutor in southern Helmand province where Taliban insurgents roam with relative ease in much of the countryside.

It was shortly before 7 a.m. when the remotely detonated mine killed Mohammed Lal Hakimi, who was on his way to work, said Ummar Zawaq, spokesperson for the provincial governor.

Zawaq said the district prosecutor had received threats from Taliban angry about the number of insurgents he had convicted and sentenced to jail.

No one has taken responsibility for the killing, but Taliban have stepped up their targeted assassinations in recent months, attacking government and security officials they accuse of being traitors.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.