Afghanistan's Taliban religious army said Iranian fighter jets violated Afghan airspace today and warned that its militia would not back down from a fight with its neighbor.

The allegations by the Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan, Maulvi Saeed-ur-Rehman Haqqani, could not be independently confirmed. There was no immediate comment from Iran.Haqqani said 15 Iranian fighter jets entered Afghan airspace over western Nimroz province and flew over neighboring Herat province before returning to Iran.

About the same time, 15 helicopters also violated Afghan airspace, the Taliban ambassador said in a statement issued to the private Pakistani news agency News Network International.

Several weeks ago, Iran deployed more than 200,000 soldiers, as well as helicopter gun ships and jet fighters, to its eastern borders with Afghanistan. The deployment came after Taliban fighters killed eight Iranian diplomats and an Iranian journalist during the Aug. 8 capture of the opposition-held city of Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan.

The Taliban leadership blamed renegade soldiers for the killings but has refused to apologize to Tehran.