Pakistan hits targets in southeast Iran in retaliation to Tehran's missile strikes

Thu, 18 Jan 2024 8:00 GMT
Explosions in Sistan-Baluchestan province kill three women and four children -- all of them non-Iranians.
Pakistan hits targets in southeast Iran in retaliation to Tehran's missile strikes

Several explosions were heard in southeastern Iran early Thursday, as Pakistan confirmed it struck "terrorist hideouts" in Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Alireza Marhameti, the deputy governor for security affairs in Sistan-Baluchestan, told state TV that several explosions were heard at around 4:30 a.m. local time in one of the border villages of Saravan County.

He said the explosions were the result of a missile strike by Pakistan, which killed three women and four children, all of them non-Iranians.

Another explosion was heard near the city of Saravan, in which no one was injured, Marhameti added.

Earlier, state news agency IRNA, citing the provincial deputy governor, reported a series of explosions in multiple areas around the city of Saravan.

According to Pakistan's Foreign Office, it undertook a series of "highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorist hideouts," saying that a number of terrorists were killed. It dubbed the intelligence-based operation as "Marg Bar (death to) Sarmachar." Islamabad says Pakistani-origin terrorists on "ungoverned spaces" in Iran call themselves Sarmachar.

The move comes two days after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched a barrage of ballistic missiles at southwestern Pakistan's Balochistan province, allegedly targeting the headquarters of the Jaish al-Adl militant group.

Jaish al-Adl is an Iranian militant group that is believed to have bases in the border region of Pakistan, especially Balochistan and has claimed responsibility for many terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.

Late on Wednesday, a senior IRGC officer was shot dead in the province, the responsibility of which was claimed by the group on its Telegram channel.

Tuesday's strikes by the IRGC were said to be in response to the group's December attack on a police station in the city of Rask in Sistan-Baluchestan, which killed 11 policemen.

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, claimed the attacks were targeted at the Iranian terrorist group, not civilians.


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