Iran reports clash with Taliban militia; Taliban denies it

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran said border troops fought a three-hour battle with Afghanistan’s Taliban militia Thursday, inflicting heavy casualties. The Taliban denied any fighting took place.
Some 200,000 Iranian soldiers are facing off against an estimated 10,000 Taliban troops on the troubled border that divides the two nations.
The Taliban, which control 90 percent of Afghanistan, also claimed Iran has been firing artillery into Afghanistan over the past three days.
It was the first major battle reported between the two sides since tensions began to rise in August when many Iranians went missing in Afghanistan. The Taliban admitted recently that fighters killed eight Iranian diplomats and a journalist in northern Afghanistan.
Iran’s official media reported that Taliban forces fired mortars and machine guns early Thursday at Iranian border posts in northeastern Khorasan province, provoking Iranian troops to return fire.