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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Pakistan says Iran violated airspace, killing two children

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency and state television had said that missiles and drones were used in the strikes in Pakistan.

Iran launched attacks Tuesday in Pakistan targeting what it described as bases for the militant group Jaish al-Adl, potentially further raising tensions in a Middle East already roiled by Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Pakistan said the strikes killed two children and wounded three others in an assault it described as an “unprovoked violation” of its airspace.

Confusion followed the announcement from Iran as state media reports on it soon disappeared. However, the attack inside of nuclear-armed Pakistan by Iran threatens the relations between the two countries, which long have eyed each other with suspicion while maintaining diplomatic relations.

Read more: Pakistan’s Alkhidmat Foundation Sends 20 Tons of Aid to Gaza

The attack also follows Iranian strikes on Iraq and Syria less than a day earlier, as Tehran lashes out following a dual suicide bombing this month claimed by the Sunni militant group Islamic State that killed over 90 people.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency and state television had said that missiles and drones were used in the strikes in Pakistan. Press TV, the English-language arm of Iranian state television, attributed the attack to Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

Jaish al-Adl, or the “Army of Justice,” is a Sunni militant group founded in 2012 that largely operates across the border in Pakistan. The militants have claimed bombings and kidnapped Iranian border police in the past.

Read more: Iran-Pakistan Talks on Afghanistan Security: Assessing Terrorist Threats

Iran has fought in border areas against the militants, but a missile-and-drone attack on Pakistan is unprecedented for Iran. Iranian reports described the strikes as happening in the mountains of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry issued a strongly worded rebuke of the strikes.

“Pakistan strongly condemns the unprovoked violation of its airspace by Iran which resulted in death of two innocent children while injuring three girls,” the statement read. “This violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is completely unacceptable and can have serious consequences.”