Pakistan: Iran airstrike kills 2 children, injures 3 others

The South Asian country has condemned the 'unprovoked violation of its airspace'


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Photo: AP file. For illustrative purposes only
Photo: AP file. For illustrative purposes only

Published: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 7:13 AM

Last updated: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 12:39 PM

Pakistan said on Wednesday that Iran launched an airstrike on its territory that killed two children, after Tehran launched attacks in Iraq and Syria against what it called "anti-Iranian terrorist groups".

Pakistan denounced the strike, near the nation's shared border late on Tuesday, as "completely unacceptable", saying it was unprovoked.

Iran offered no official comment immediately but its state-run Nour News agency said the attack destroyed the Pakistani headquarters of the group Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice).

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Jaish al-Adl, which was formed in 2012, is blacklisted by Iran as a terrorist group and has carried out several attacks on Iranian soil in recent years.

The strike came after Iran launched missile attacks on "spy headquarters" and "terrorist" targets in Syria, and in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region.

The Iranian strikes add to multiple crises across the Middle East, with Israel waging a war against Hamas in Gaza and pro-Palestinian Houthi rebels in Yemen attacking vessels in the Red Sea.

Pakistan's official statement did not say where the strike took place. However, Pakistani social media accounts said blasts occurred in Pangjur in Balochistan province, where the two countries share a sparsely populated border of nearly 1,000 kilometres (620 miles).

"This violation of Pakistan's sovereignty is completely unacceptable and can have serious consequences," Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said the strike late on Tuesday "resulted in death of two innocent children while injuring three girls". Pakistan said it summoned Tehran's top diplomat in Islamabad to protest the "unprovoked violation of its airspace".

Iran's Nour News agency posted on X: "Minutes ago, two important headquarters of the so called Jaish-ul-Adl terrorist group was targeted in Pakistan".

"These headquarters were destroyed by rockets and drones."

The group claimed responsibility for an attack in December on a police station in Rask that killed at least 11 Iranian police officers.

The United States has also labelled Jaish al-Adl a terrorist organisation, saying the group "primarily targets Iranian security personnel" but also government officials and civilians with assassinations, kidnappings, and suicide bombings.

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