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Nine Pakistani workers killed in attack on Iranian soil

By News Desk

January 27, 2024 07:05 PM


Unidentified gunmen killed nine and injured five other Pakistani workers in Saravan in the South-Eastern Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan, bordering Pakistan, reported the 24NewsHD TV channel.

A statement issued by FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch in response to media queries on the matter said: “It is a horrifying and despicable incident and we condemn it unequivocally. We are in touch with Iranian authorities and have underscored the need to immediately investigate the incident and hold to account those involved in this heinous crime.”

She said Pakistan’s consul in Zahedan was en route to the hospital where the injured were being treated and would reach in a “few hours due to long distances and security imperatives involved”.

Baloch said the consul will also meet local authorities and “impress upon them the urgent need for strong action against the perpetrators of this crime”.

“We are fully seized of this grave matter and are taking all necessary measures in this regard. The embassy will do its best to repatriate dead bodies at the earliest,” she said.

https://twitter.com/ForeignOfficePk/status/1751257287380046137

“Such cowardly attacks cannot deter Pakistan from its determination to fight terrorism,” the FO spokesperson added.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Iran Mudassir Tipu confirmed the development in a social media post on X, formerly Twitter.

“Deeply shocked by the horrifying killing of 9 Pakistanis in Saravan,” he wrote, adding that the embassy will extend full support to bereaved families.
“Counsel Zahidan is already on his way to the incident site and hospital where the injured are under treatment. We called upon Iran to extend full cooperation in the matter,” reads the post.

https://twitter.com/AmbMudassir/status/1751222504746590211

The assailants reportedly entered the auto repair workshop where the victims lived and shot each member.

Among the victims, five hailed from different areas of Alipur of Muzaffargarh district and had been working in Iran for the past decade.

Pakistan's Ambassador also called upon Iran to extend full cooperation with Pakistani authorities on the matter.

According to sources, the victims' families have reached out to the assistant commissioner's office to facilitate the transfer of the deceased bodies to Pakistan.

"According to witnesses, this morning unknown armed men killed nine non-Iranians in a house in the Sirkan neighbourhood of Saravan city" in Sistan-Baluchistan province, the Mehr news agency reported.

So far, no group or individuals had claimed responsibility, the agency added.

The deadly attack follows rare military action in the porous border region of Baluchistan -- split between the two nations -- that had stoked regional tensions already inflamed by the Israel-Hamas war.

Sistan-Baluchistan is one of the few mainly Sunni Muslim provinces in Shiite-dominated Iran.

It has seen persistent unrest involving cross-border drug-smuggling gangs and rebels from the Baluchi ethnic minority, as well as jihadists. 

On January 18, Pakistan launched air strikes on "militant targets" in Iran, two days after Iran had launched strikes on its territory. 

Tehran said it had targeted Jaish al-Adl, a jihadist group which has carried out a spate of deadly attacks in Iran in recent months.

 Formed in 2012, the group is blacklisted by Iran as a "terrorist" organisation.

The Iranian strikes, which Pakistan said killed at least two children, drew a sharp rebuke from Islamabad, which recalled its ambassador from Tehran and blocked Iran's envoy from returning to Islamabad.

Tehran also summoned Islamabad's charge d'affaires over Pakistan's strikes, which left at least nine people dead.

 The two countries, however, announced last Monday that they had decided to de-escalate and resumed diplomatic missions with the two ambassadors returning to their posts.


News Desk


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