Lotfollah Mashal

An Iranian citizen is one of two suspects arrested in Southern Afghanistan and charged with attempting a suicide attack.

A spokesman for Afghanistan National Security, Lotfollah Mashal, announced today that he is a resident of Zahedan, a city in southeastern Iran. He was arrested along with a Pakistani national as they were entering Kandahar.

Yesterday, General Naim Momen, the head of Kandahar National Security, told a press conference that preliminary interrogations of the two suspects yielded confessions that they intended to carry out suicide attacks in Kandahar or Herat.

A number of local media quoted the detained Iranian, who was presented to reporters, saying he had travelled from Zahedan to Quetta in Pakistan; there he was told that it was his duty as a Muslim to fight against heretics in Afghanistan.

Mohammad Moslem, the Pakistani detainee, has reportedly given similar statements, adding that he is a simple labourer who was encouraged to go to Afghanistan for a "jihad against the heretics."

Several Pakistanis previously have been arrested in Afghanistan for attempted attacks on nationals and foreign targets, but this is the first time an Iranian has been charged.

The Afghanistan National Security spokesman said certain Iranian citizens are sending weapons to arm opponents of the Afghan government and foment public insecurity.

The Islamic Republic has categorically denied any interference in Afghanistan’s politics and security.