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Pak conducts ‘precision military’ strikes in Iran, nine killed

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Islamabad, Jan 18: Pakistan Thursday conducted “precision military strikes” against what it called “terrorist hideouts” in Iran’s Siestan-Balochistan province that killed 9 people, a day after Islamabad recalled its envoy from Tehran and suspended all planned high-level bilateral visits following Iranian missile attacks in Balochistan.
“This morning Pakistan undertook a series of highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorist hideouts in Siestan-o-Baluchistan province of Iran,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement on Thursday morning.
It said a number of terrorists were killed during the intelligence-based operation – codenamed “Marg Bar Sarmachar”. In Persian language, “marg bar” means “death to” while “Sarmachar” means guerrilla in the Baloch language.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan military’s media wing, in a statement said that the precision strikes were carried out using killer drones, rockets, loitering munitions and stand-off weapons.
It said that “hideouts used by terrorist organisations namely Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) were successfully struck in an intelligence-based operation.” The two groups have carried out several attacks in Pakistan in the past.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani condemned the attack and said that the Pakistani chargé d’affaires had been summoned by the ministry to convey Tehran’s protest to Islamabad and provide an explanation about the attack, Iran’s state-run Press TV reported.
Quoting Deputy governor of the province Alireza Marhamati, the channel said nine non-Iranian nationals, including two men, three women and four children, were killed in the attack, which is being investigated by the Iranian security officials. There was also an explosion near Saravan city, 347 km southeast of the provincial capital Zahedan, where there were no casualties, he added.
Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi confirmed the figures later in the day.
The tit-for-tat attacks within two days have raised tensions in the volatile region, already roiled by Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the targeting of the merchant ships in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Houthis. (PTI)

In its statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that Islamabad has consistently shared its serious concerns with Tehran about the safe havens and sanctuaries enjoyed by Pakistani origin terrorists calling themselves Sarmachars inside Iran.
“However, because of lack of action on our serious concerns, these so-called Sarmachars continued to spill the blood of innocent Pakistanis with impunity. This morning’s action was taken in light of credible intelligence of impending large-scale terrorist activities by these so-called Sarmachars,” it added. (PTI)

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