Iran has rejected reports claiming that Iranian border guards had tortured and thrown Afghans into a river to prevent their illegal entry into the country, the media reported.

"The incident affecting a number of Afghanistan's citizens has taken place on that country's soil and the Islamic Republic of Iran's border guards have denied any involvement in this regard," Press TV quoted Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi as saying on Sunday.

Probing the issue

"Taking into account the significance of the issue and in order to obtain accurate information about how the incident took place on the Afghan soil, we have been probing the issue in cooperation with that country's officials," Mousavi added.

Iran's national flag
Iran's national flag Reuters

On Saturday, Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry said an inquiry has been launched and a senior official in the presidential palace in Kabul said initial assessments suggested that at least 70 Afghans who were trying to enter Iran from bordering Herat province were beaten and pushed into the Harirud river.

Efforts to retrieve the body

The Harirud river basin is shared by Afghanistan, Iran and Turkmenistan. A search party has been sent to retrieve the bodies of migrants from the river. About three million Afghans live in Iran, including refugees and wage labourers, said a BBC report. Hundreds of Afghans cross into Iran every day to find work.