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Pakistan says ‘illegal’ Iranian missile attack on its soil killed two children

Pakistan has accusedIran of an “illegal” airstrike on its soil, saying an Iranian missile strike on Balochistan on Tuesday killed two children and injured others.

Iranian state media confirmed missile strikes were carried out on targets in Pakistan, saying they hit two bases connected to the militant group Jaish al-Adl.

In a strongly-worded statement, Pakistan’s foreign office said the attack was an “illegal act” that could have “serious consequences”.

“Pakistan strongly condemns the unprovoked violation of its airspace by Iran and the strike inside Pakistani territory which resulted in the death of two innocent children while injuring three girls.

“This violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is completely unacceptable and can have serious consequences,” Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson said in the early hours of Wednesday.

Iran’s Nournews, an outlet related to the country’s top security body, said the strikes targeted bases in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. “These bases were hit and destroyed by missiles and drones,” the report added.

Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni militant group, has launched attacks on Iranian security forces along the border it shares with Pakistan in the southwestern region.

“It is even more concerning that this illegal act has taken place despite the existence of several channels of communication between Pakistan and Iran,” the statement from Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Pakistan said it had summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires in Islamabad to “convey our strongest condemnation of this blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and that the responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran”.

The location of the missile strike and the full nature of the airspace violation was not immediately clear, while Pakistan’s statement did not specify details.

Pakistan has become the third country after Iraq and Syria to be targeted by Iranian attacks in the past few days.

These attacks are seen as a part of a series of reprisals against Tehran’s perceived enemies, especially in the wake of a double suicide bombing in the city of Kerman on 3 January, in which more than 80 Iranians were killed.

Isis claimed responsibility for that attack, but it is unclear if Iran believes that Jaish al-Adl was also involved in the Kerman bombing.

The US condemned an attack by Iran on targets in Erbil, northern Iraq on Monday, which Tehran said targeted an Israeli spying operation.

Shortly after the attack, Iraq said it will take Iran to the UN Security Council over what Tehran has claimed was an attack on an Israeli “espionage headquarters” in the north of the country.

There are concerns that the Iranian strikes represent a further spread of conflict across the region in the wake of Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza.

Many nations across the Middle East have been on edge since a Hamas attack inside Israel on 7 October killed 1,200 people and saw over 240 more taken hostage. In response, Israel has vowed to eradicate Hamas and has launched airstrikes and ground operations inside Hamas-controlled Gaza, backed up by a blockade.


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