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Border clash: Iranian army kills 4 Pakistanis, injures two in Baluchistan

Border clash: Iranian army kills 4 Pakistanis, injures two in Baluchistan

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: A month after then-Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited Pakistan to “strengthen ties”, the two countries returned to blows as the Iranian army killed four Pakistanis and injured two in Baluchistan, the media reported on Thursday.

The incident happened on Tuesday night when Iranian forces opened fire in the restive southwestern province of Balochistan in Pakistan, officials said.

The shooting took place near the Pakistan-Iran border, in Washuk District, Umar Jamali, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, said.
Naeem Umrani, Deputy Commissioner of Washuk, said an investigation is being initiated to determine the reason for the shooting.

Former Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash on May 19, visited Pakistan in April on a three-day official visit as the two Muslim neighbors sought to mend ties after unprecedented tit-for-tat military strikes against each other earlier this year. Raisi’s visit was seen as a key step towards normalizing Tehran’s ties with Islamabad.

Iran and Pakistan have had a history of rocky relations, but missile strikes in January were the most serious incidents in years, with Pakistan recalling its Ambassador to Tehran and not allowing its counterpart to return to Islamabad, as well as canceling all high-level diplomatic and trade engagements.

Swift efforts to lower the temperature subsequently led to assurances that they respected each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as vows to expand security cooperation and requests for envoys to return to their posts.

Islamabad said it hit bases of the separatist Baloch Liberation Front and Baloch Liberation Army in the Iranian territory, while Tehran said it struck militants from the Jaish al Adl (JAA) group in Baluchistan.

The militant groups operate in an area that includes Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan and Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province. Both regions are restive, mineral-rich, and largely underdeveloped.


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