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Afghan Official Reports Iranian, Pakistani Aid To Taliban In Helmand

Afghan soldiers shown sorting ammunition during an operation against Taliban militants in Soor Guder district of Helmand in November 2016.

The governor of Afghanistan's volatile Helmand Province said Iranian and Pakistanis have recently met with Taliban insurgents involved in fighting Afghan forces.

Governor Hayatullah Hayat told Radio Free Afghanistan on January 22 that "Iranian interference [in Afghan affairs] has increased" recently, noting the meeting with Taliban fighters in Helmand's Garmsir district that he said also involved Pakistanis.

He said the Afghan intelligence agency has confirmed the meeting and he has ordered a further investigation into foreign interference in Helmand.

Hayat said rockets with Iranian markings were also found after a Taliban attack on the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.

He added that the Pakistani military is also involved in "mobilizing insurgents" in Helmand.

Afghanistan has long accused Pakistan of aiding insurgents fighting Afghan forces, charges that Pakistan has denied.

With reporting by Tolo News

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    RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan is an online pioneer and media leader in the country, reaching 25 percent of the adult audience nationally with reporting that promotes human rights and peace on radio, SMS, and the Internet.