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18 Jan, 2024 04:16

Explosions heard in Iran amid Pakistani air raid

Islamabad has struck several “terrorist” targets on its neighbor’s soil, following a similar cross-border attack by Tehran
Explosions heard in Iran amid Pakistani air raid

Pakistan has carried out airstrikes on a militant group operating from Iranian territory, an intelligence source in Islamabad has told AFP. Multiple blasts were heard near a border region in Iran’s southernmost province on Thursday morning, according to Iranian state media.

“Several explosions” were reported from multiple sites around the city of Saravan early Thursday morning, an unnamed Iranian official told the state-affiliated IRNA news agency. Another source said the strikes “injured several people,” according to Mehr News Agency.

Islamabad has yet to officially acknowledge the air raids, but an anonymous Pakistani intelligence official confirmed the attack to AFP, sharing few other details. Meanwhile, the Hindustan Times and other Indian media reported that “Baloch separatist camps situated inside Iranian territory” were targeted in the raids.

The reported cross-border military action came soon after Tehran claimed credit for a series of missile and drone strikes on Pakistan’s western Balochistan region, which targeted members of the Jaish al-Adli terrorist group. Tehran insisted the operation was solely focused on “Iranian terrorists,” and that “none of the nationals of the friendly country of Pakistan were targeted.”

However, Islamabad was quick to condemn the strikes as an “unprovoked violation of its airspace” and warned of “serious consequences” in response. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said the attack killed “two innocent children,” and later recalled its envoy from Tehran.

“Last night’s unprovoked and blatant breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty by Iran is a violation of international law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mumtaz Baloch said in a televised address on Wednesday, adding, “Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act.”

Iran had accused Jaish al-Adli militants of storming a police station in its southern province of Sistan and Baluchistan last month, which reportedly left 11 police officers dead, according to Tasnim News. Also known as the ‘Army of Justice’, the armed separatist group operates on both sides of the Iran-Pakistan border and has taken credit for a series of previous attacks on Iranian targets.