AFP: Pakistan launched deadly strikes on Thursday against militant targets in Iran in apparent retaliation for Iranian air raids on its territory, further stoking tensions and prompting Tehran to summon Pakistan’s envoy.
Nine people, including three women and four children, were killed in the Pakistani strikes in restive Sistan-Baluchistan province, according to Iran’s IRNA news agency.
It came just two days after Iran conducted strikes against what it described as “terrorist” targets in neighbouring Pakistan, killing at least two children. While Iran and nuclear-armed Pakistan often accuse each other of allowing militants to operate from the other’s territory to launch attacks, it is rare that official forces on either side engage. Pakistan’s foreign ministry described Thursday’s raids as a “series of highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorist hideouts” in Sistan-Baluchistan. Drones and rockets were used in the strikes, which targeted Baluch separatist movements, the army said.
The Pakistani military has been waging a decades-long fight against the separatist groups in its sparsely populated border region.
Iran condemned the strikes, and summoned Pakistan’s charge d’affaires “to protest and request an explanation from the Pakistani government,” Tehran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said.
Nayeemul Islam khan
1327 Tejgaon Industrial Area (3rd Floor), Dhaka-1208