Iran denies violating Afghanistan's airspace
07:04 a.m. Oct 03, 1998 Eastern
TEHRAN, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Iran on Saturday denied charges by Afghanistan's Taleban Islamic militia that Iranian warplanes had violated Afghani air space.
``The spokesman for the Zulfaqar-2 manoeuvres, Brigadier-General Hassan Barati, termed as a mere lie Taleban's claim that Iranian jet fighters had violated Afghanistan's airspace,'' the official Iranian News Agency IRNA said.
The Taleban said Iranian planes had crossed into Afghanistan's air space three times on Friday, calling it a provocative act.
Some 200,000 Iranian troops deployed on the border with Afghanistan are conducting rehearsals for major military exercises scheduled to start soon.
Iran also has 70,000 more Revolutionary Guards stationed on the border since tension with the Taleban erupted in August over the killing of eight Iranian diplomats.
IRNA quoted Barati as saying Iranian military flights were operated ``with respect to their special corridor and taking into consideration corridors used by civilian flights in the region.''
``Barati added that the flight zone along the border is 12 miles (19 km) which has so far been observed by Iran,'' IRNA reported.
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