Nine people including four kids killed in Pakistan's retaliatory attack on Iran

Pakistan had condemned Iran for launching airstrikes on Tuesday which killed two children, denouncing them as a “blatant violation” of its airspace.
Locator map for Iran with its capital, Tehran.
Locator map for Iran with its capital, Tehran. (Photo | AP)

ISLAMABAD: At least nine people were killed were killed Thursday in a missile attack by Pakistan on Iran's southeast border region, state media reported.

"Pakistan attacked an Iranian border village with missiles," state television said, adding that "three women, four children were killed, all non-Iranian nationals."

"Two men were also killed in the missile attack this morning in one of the border villages of Saravan, bringing the death toll to nine," the official IRNA news agency said quoting Alireza Marhamati, deputy provincial governor of Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province.

"This morning Pakistan undertook a series of highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorist hideouts in Siestan-o-Baluchistan province of Iran," a foreign ministry statement said, adding that a "number of terrorists were killed" during the intelligence-based operation codenamed "Marg Bar Sarmachar".

The Pakistan military action comes after Iranian missile and drone strikes in Balochistan on Tuesday which killed two children.

Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency also reported an explosion near Saravan city where there were no casualties.

Pakistan's Foreign Office defends action

"Over the last several years, in our engagements with Iran, Pakistan has consistently shared its serious concerns about the safe havens and sanctuaries enjoyed by Pakistani origin terrorists calling themselves Sarmachars on the ungoverned spaces inside Iran," Pakistan's Foreign Office said in the statement.

"However, because of lack of action on our serious concerns, these so-called Sarmachars continued to spill the blood of innocent Pakistanis with impunity," it added.

The successful execution of this highly complex operation is also a testimony to the professionalism of the Pakistan Armed Forces," the Foreign Office said, adding that Pakistan will continue to take all necessary steps to preserve the safety and security of its people which is "sacrosanct, inviolable and sacred."

Sources reveal details about strikes

Sources in Pakistan told PTI that shortly before 0600 hours (local time) today, the Joint Staff Headquarters of the Pakistan Armed Forces ordered lethal counterinsurgency-specific precision airstrikes inside Iran, pre-authorised by the Government of Pakistan, to preemptively target and eliminate imminent terrorist threats to Pakistan.

These strikes were conducted successfully using Pakistan Air Force fighter jets using stand-off extended-range munitions, while they remained inside Pakistani airspace, a source told PTI.

The target locations, seven in total, were tagged for a strike after the presence of multiple high-value terrorist targets was confirmed following extensive aerial reconnaissance via unmanned aircraft.

The Pakistan Air Force's aircraft today after the break of dawn, engaged seven targets inside Iran with precision-guided air-to-ground munitions, where the Balochistan-centric terrorist organisation Balochistan Liberation Force was based.

No Iranian civilians or military personnel were targeted, they told PTI.

Pakistan condemns Iran's airstrikes

Pakistan on Wednesday condemned Iran for launching airstrikes the previous day that Tehran claimed targeted bases for a militant Sunni separatist group.

Islamabad angrily denounced the attack as a “blatant violation” of its airspace and said it killed two children.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said it issued a strong protest late Tuesday with Iran’s Foreign Ministry, and summoned an Iranian diplomat in Islamabad “to convey our strongest condemnation of this blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.” Pakistan also suspended all planned high-level bilateral visits.

Locator map for Iran with its capital, Tehran.
Pakistan recalls ambassador to Iran after air strike on terror bases in Balochistan

Tuesday’s strike in Pakistan’s restive southwestern Baluchistan province imperiled diplomatic relations between the two neighbors — Iran and nuclear-armed Pakistan have long regarded each other with suspicion over militant attacks. However, both sides appeared wary of provoking the other.

The attack also threatened to further ignite violence in a Middle East unsettled by Israel’s ongoing war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Iran launched strikes late Monday in Iraq and Syria over an Islamic State-claimed suicide bombing that killed over 90 people earlier this month.

In state media reports, which were later withdrawn without explanation, Iran said its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard targeted bases for the militant group Jaish al-Adl, or the “Army of Justice.”

The group, which seeks an independent Baluchistan and has spread across Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, acknowledged the assault in a statement shared online.

Six bomb-carrying drones and rockets struck homes that the militants claim housed children and wives of their fighters. Jaish al-Adl said the attack killed two children and wounded two women and a teenage girl.

(With inputs from PTI, AP, and AFP)

Locator map for Iran with its capital, Tehran.
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