Iran says attack in Pakistan targeted ‘Iranian terrorist group’

At least two children were killed and three others injured due to the Iranian air attacks in Pakistan.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian gestures during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland [Fabrice Conffrini/AFP]

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the air attacks in Pakistan that killed two children this week targeted an “Iranian terrorist group”.

“On Pakistan, none of the nationals of the friendly and brotherly country of Pakistan were targeted by Iranian missiles and drones,” Abdollahian said on Wednesday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“The so-called Jaish al-Adl group, which is an Iranian terrorist group, was targeted,” he added.

Amir-Abdollahian said the attack on “Pakistan’s soil” was in response to the group’s recent attacks on the Iranian city of Rask in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

“The group has taken shelter in some parts of Pakistan’s Balochistan province. We’ve talked with Pakistani officials several times on this matter,” he said.

He emphasised that while Iran respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan, it would not “allow the country’s national security to be compromised or played with”.

Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), a Sunni Muslim armed group, has previously launched attacks on Iranian security forces in the border area with Pakistan.

Earlier, Pakistan recalled its ambassador to Iran after an airspace violation had resulted in the deaths of two children.

While Pakistan did not provide details into the nature of the violation or its location, the foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday that it was “unacceptable” and a breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

“Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act,” she said.

Iran’s ambassador, who is visiting his home country, will not be allowed to return to Islamabad, the ministry’s spokesperson added.

Officials in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan said four missiles had hit the Panjgur district close to the Iranian border.

“Four missiles were fired in the village of Koh-i-Sabaz, which is around 50km [30 miles] inside Pakistan soil,” an unnamed senior official of the Panjgur administration told the Reuters news agency.

“A mosque and three houses were damaged in the attack,” another official said.

Authorities said that two young girls had been killed and three other family members injured.

The strikes came a day after Tehran carried out similar attacks inside other neighbouring countries, Iraq and Syria.

Baghdad also recalled its ambassador from Tehran after Iranian state media said it had hit an Israeli espionage centre.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies