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Iran launches probe into killing of nine Pakistani workers

Foreign Ministry spokesman condemns attacks, says Tehran will now allow enemies to harm fraternal relations between two countries

By News Desk

January 28, 2024 03:08 PM


Iran launches probe into killing of nine Pakistani workers

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Naser Kanani

Iran has strongly condemned an armed attack by unidentified gunmen on Saturday morning in the suburbs of Saravan, a border town of the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, reported IRNA news agency on Sunday,

In a statement, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Naser Kanani said that country’s judicial and intelligence authorities have launch an investigation into the attack, which according to initial reports resulted in the death of nine Pakistani citizens and wounding of three others.

While extending condolences to the Government of Pakistan and the families of the victims, the Iranian spokesman underlined that Tehran and Islamabad will not allow their enemies to harm the fraternal relations between the two countries.

Earlier, the deputy security and law enforcement officer of Sistan and Baluchestan Province informed that police team was immediately arrived at the scene of the attack.

Ali Reza Marhamati said that those who survived the attack told the police that three armed assailants shot at these foreigners, killing nine people and injuring three of them before fleeing the scene.

He expressed sympathy with the victims’ families and pledged a thorough investigation to ascertain the reason and culprits behind the deadly attack.

Saravan located 347 kms southeast of Zahedan, the capital city of Sistan-Baluchestan, borders with Pakistan.

Earlier, a statement issued by Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch in response to media queries on the killings 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”.

Mumtaz 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. “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.

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.

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 Balochistan -- split between the two nations -- that had stoked regional tensions already inflamed by the Israel-Hamas war.

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.

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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