Iran says it targeted ‘Iranian terrorist group’ in Pakistan

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Tehran’s top diplomat said on Wednesday that his country’s armed forces targeted an “Iranian terrorist group” in Pakistan the day before, after Islamabad said the strike killed two children.

“On Pakistan, none of the nationals of the friendly and brotherly country of Pakistan were targeted by Iranian missiles and drones,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“The so-called Jaish al-Adl group, which is an Iranian terrorist group, was targeted,” he added.

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The raid came late on Tuesday after Tehran also launched attacks in Iraq and Syria against what it called “anti-Iranian terrorist groups.”

Pakistan denounced the strike near the nations’ shared border, recalled its ambassador from Iran and blocked Tehran’s envoy from returning to Islamabad.

A few hours before the strike, Pakistani caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar met Amir-Abdollahian on the sidelines of the Davos Forum.

Amir-Abdollahian said Iran’s attack on “Pakistan’s soil” was a response to the Jaish al-Adl group’s recent deadly attacks on the Islamic Republic, particularly on the city of Rask in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

At attack on January 10 on a police station in the city killed a policeman, almost a month after 11 police officers were killed in a similar attack in the area.

Both attacks were claimed by Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), a Sunni Muslim extremist group that was formed in 2012 and is blacklisted by Iran as a “terrorist” group.

“The group has taken shelter in some parts of Pakistan’s Balochistan province,” Amir-Abdollahian said, adding that “we’ve talked with Pakistani officials several times on this matter.”

The foreign minister said Iran respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan but would not “allow the country’s national security to be compromised or played with.”

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