Iranian, Afghan forces trade gunfire at southwestern border; one civilian killed

.KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Afghan police clashed with Iranian forces at the southwestern border between the two countries, leaving one civilian dead and two Iranian officers wounded, officials said Sunday.

The incident in the village of Pul-e-Abreshum in Nimroz province happened Saturday after an Iranian patrol entered Afghanistan, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Afghan police dispatched a unit to the village and a gunbattle ensued. A teacher from the village was killed during the firefight, said provincial police chief Gen. Ayub Badakhshi.

Two Iranian officers were wounded, the statement said.

The long and porous border between the two countries is used by smugglers to traffic drugs into Iran. Many Afghans also cross illegally into Iran from the area. Border clashes are common.

Separately, in eastern Kunar province, a rocket attack killed a 15-year old-boy and wounded five other children Sunday, said Abdul Sabur Allayar, the deputy provincial police chief.

He blamed “the enemies of Afghanistan” for the attack, which killed the children as they collected grass for their sheep in the provincial capital Asadabad.

In southern Kandahar province, clashes between Afghan forces and Taliban insurgents on Saturday and Sunday left six militants dead. Fourteen others were detained, said Shirin Shah, an Afghan army officer.

A policeman died and an Afghan soldier was wounded during the fighting, he said.

More than 1,000 people, mostly militants, have died this year in insurgency-related violence, according to an Associated Press tally of figures from Afghan and Western officials. Many of those killed were civilians caught up in insurgent attacks.