Seven people, including four children, were killed in air strikes by Pakistan into Iranian territory on January 18, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported.
Islamabad’s military action comes after a missile attack by Tehran targetting an “Iranian terrorist group” killed two children in the South Western Balochistan province in Pakistan.
The attack by Pakistan took place at 9:05 am IST (0335 GMT) on January 18 and targeted an Iranian border village, Ali Reza Marhamati, the deputy governor-general of Sistan-Baluchestan province in South East Iran, told IRNA.
“Pakistan attacked an Iranian border village with missiles,” Iran State Television said, quoting Marhamati. “Three women and four children were killed in the attack. All non-Iranian nationals,” the official said.
The official, cited by IRNA, said that another explosion occurred near Saravan,located 347 km South East of Zahedan, the capital city of Sistan-Baluchestan, on the border with Pakistan. Fortunately, there were no casualties, he said.
Pakistan said on January 18 that it has launched “highly coordinated” missile strikes into Iran and that “a number of terrorists were killed during the intelligence-based operation,” codenamed “Marg Bar Sarmachar”.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), in a statement, described their attack as “a series of highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes” against terrorist hideouts.
“A number of terrorists were killed during the intelligence-based operation codenamed “Marg Bar Sarmachar,” it said. Tehran said it used “precision missile and drone strikes” to destroy two “important headquarters” of Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) in Pakistan.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahain said the air attacks on Pakistan targeted the “Iranian terrorist group” Jaish al-Adl and that his country had asked Pakistan several times to take action on the group.
Pakistan denounced the violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty as “completely unacceptable” and, on January 17, expelled the Iranian ambassador and recalled its envoy to Iran.
“Pakistan has decided to recall its ambassador from Iran and that the Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan who is currently visiting Iran may not return for the time being,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said while addressing a press briefing in Islamabad yesterday.
Pakistan’s caretaker Foreign Minister, Jalil Abbas Jilani, in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian, underscored that the January 16 attack conducted by Iran inside Pakistani territory was not only a serious breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty but was also an egregious violation of international law and the spirit of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Expressing Pakistan’s unreserved condemnation of the attack, Jilani added that the incident has caused serious damage to bilateral ties between Pakistan and Iran.
(with inputs from ANI)