Pakistan says two children killed in ‘completely unacceptable’ Iran attack

Government accuses Iran of violating its airspace in attack targeting armed group Jaish al-Adl and recalls ambassador.

An Iranian missile being launched during a training exercise
Iran has fired missiles at targets in Syria, Iran and Pakistan this week [File: Iranian Army/WANA via Reuters]

Pakistan has said two children were killed and three others injured after neighbouring Iran launched air attacks that Islamabad described as a violation of its airspace.

The Pakistani foreign ministry on Wednesday said it had recalled its ambassador from Iran and that the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan would not be allowed to return.

“This illegal act is completely unacceptable and has no justification whatsoever,” it said in a statement. “Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act. The responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran,” it warned.

In an earlier statement, the ministry had said the strike late on Tuesday “resulted in death of two innocent children while injuring three girls”.

Social media accounts reported blasts in the mountainous Balochistan province, where the two countries share a sparsely populated border nearly 1,000km (620 miles) long.

Iran’s state media reported earlier that Tehran had targeted two bases of the Jaish al-Adl armed group in Pakistan, with the IRNA news agency and state television saying missiles and drones were used in the strikes.

Press TV, the English-language arm of Iranian state television, attributed the attack to Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard. There was no official comment from Tehran.


Jaish al-Adl, the “Army of Justice”, has been launching deadly attacks against Iranian border guards since at least 2013 and has previously claimed bombings and kidnappings of border police.

Iran’s Nournews, which is affiliated with the country’s top security body, said the bases were in Balochistan province.

Pakistan’s statement did not mention the location of the incident, but two Pakistani security officials told the Associated Press news agency that the Iranian strikes damaged a mosque in Balochistan’s Panjgur district, about 50km (30 miles) inside the border. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Tehran and Islamabad frequently accuse each other of allowing armed groups to operate from the other’s territory.

“Pakistan has always said terrorism is a common threat to all countries in the region that requires coordinated action,” the Foreign Ministry statement said in the earlier statement.

“Such unilateral acts are not in conformity with good neighbourly relations and can seriously undermine bilateral trust and confidence.”

On Monday, Iran fired missiles into northern Syria targeting the ISIL (ISIS) group and into Iraq at what it called an Israeli “spy headquarters” near the United States Consulate compound in the city of Erbil.

Iraq on Tuesday called the attacks, which killed several civilians, a “blatant violation” of Iraq’s sovereignty and recalled its ambassador from Tehran.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies