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Pakistan strikes back at Iran after Tuesday’s deadly attack



In a sharp escalation of tensions, Pakistan launched missile strikes into Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province on Thursday, reportedly killing nine people, following Iranian airstrikes on Pakistani soil on Tuesday.

The Pakistani military confirmed the strikes, stating they targeted “terrorist hideouts” in response to the Iranian attacks that killed two children in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province. Iranian state TV, however, countered that the strikes hit civilian areas, claiming three women, two men, and four children among the casualties.

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These tit-for-tat attacks mark a significant deterioration in relations between the neighboring countries, already strained by long-standing accusations of harboring militant groups operating across their shared border. The latest violence comes amid heightened regional tensions fueled by the ongoing war in Yemen, the nuclear deal with Iran, and the political crisis in Iraq.

Pakistan and Iran have long accused each other of harbouring militant groups that carry out attacks from regions along their shared border.

On Thursday, Pakistan’s foreign ministry confirmed its strikes, which Iranian media said took place around the city of Saravan.

The ministry said it had acted in light of “credible intelligence of impending large-scale terrorist activities” and said a number of “terrorists” were killed. It added that it “fully respects” Iran’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

In its own statement, Pakistan’s army said the “precision strikes” were conducted with drones, rockets and long-range missiles.

It said they were targeting “terrorist organisations”, namely the Balochistan Liberation Army and the Balochistan Liberation Front.

Both groups are part of a decades-long struggle for greater autonomy in Balochistan, a remote region in south-western Pakistan.

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