South Asia

At least nine killed in Pakistani attack, Iran state media reports

Iranian state media reported that the death toll from a Pakistani missile attack early Thursday morning has risen to nine, up from the initially reported seven.

The attack occurred in Iran’s southeastern border region of Sistan-Baluchistan. It was initially reported that at least three women and four children were killed.

“Two men were also killed in the missile attack this morning in one of the border villages of Saravan, bringing the death toll to nine,” Alireza Marhamati, the deputy provincial governor of Sistan-Baluchistan, was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

State television earlier reported Marhamati saying, “Pakistan attacked an Iranian border village with missiles, killing three women and four children, all non-Iranian nationals.”

Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said in a TV interview that all victims were foreign nationals. Meanwhile, Iran’s Fars news agency, without citing sources, claimed the deceased were believed to be Pakistani nationals. The reasons for their presence in the area were not explained by the minister or Fars.

Mehr news agency, another Iranian outlet, previously reported “drone and missile attacks” in the region and noted that “several people” were injured.

This incident follows Iran’s strike on a “terrorist” target in Pakistan two days earlier, which resulted in the deaths of at least two children.

On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian stated the government targeted an “Iranian terrorist group” in Pakistan. He linked the attack to recent deadly attacks in southeastern Iran by Jaish al-Adl, a group Tehran has blacklisted as a “terrorist” organization.

“None of the nationals of the friendly and brotherly country of Pakistan were targeted by Iranian missiles and drones,” Abdullahian said.

Pakistan condemned the attacks near the border on Wednesday, recalled its ambassador to Iran, and blocked Tehran’s envoy from returning to Islamabad.

On January 10, Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for an attack on a police station in Rusk, southeastern Iran, which left one officer dead. The group also claimed a similar attack in December, killing 11 police officers.

IRNA reported on Wednesday that Jaish al-Adl had killed a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.