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Pakistan retaliates against Iran with airstrike, killing 9

Nine non-Iranians were reportedly killed in the attack in Iran, which comes after Tehran attacked Pakistan earlier this week.

Published: January 18, 2024 10:03am

Pakistan retaliated against Iran on Thursday, killing at least nine people, per Tehran, as tensions have significantly increased in the region following Iran's attack on Pakistan earlier this week.

Nine non-Iranians were killed in the attack, according to Tehran's state-run IRNA media outlet.

Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry said its military launched "a series of highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorist hideouts" in an Iranian province bordering Pakistan. 

The ministry also said that it has voiced concerns with Iran for several years about Pakistani terrorists known as Sarmachars in Iran, but "because of lack of action" by Tehran, the group continued to attack Pakistanis. 

"This action is a manifestation of Pakistan’s unflinching resolve to protect and defend its national security against all threats," the ministry also said. "Pakistan fully respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The sole objective of today’s act was in pursuit of Pakistan’s own security and national interest which is paramount and cannot be compromised."

Tehran condemned the strike and demanded Islamabad give an explanation. 

Iran's Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state TV that information "indicates that four children, three women and two men, who were foreign nationals, have been killed in the explosion that occurred in a village," per Reuters

The latest strike comes after Iran attacked what it deemed to be bases for the Jaish al-Adl militant group, a U.S. State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization, in Pakistan on Tuesday. Islamabad said two children were killed in that strike.

After the first strike from Iran, the country's foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said Wednesday that he spoke with his Pakistani counterpart and "emphasized the respect of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the brotherly and neighboring country of Pakistan."

Overshadowing the entire conflict is the risk of nuclear weapons being deployed. While Pakistan has nuclear weapons, U.S. physicist and nuclear expert David Albright said in a report earlier this month that Iran "would need only about a week to produce enough for its first nuclear weapon."

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