China urges Iran, Pakistan to ‘exercise restraint’ after deadly airstrike

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China on Wednesday urged Pakistan and Iran to show “restraint,” after Islamabad said Tehran had carried out an airstrike on its territory that killed two children.

“We call on both sides to exercise restraint, avoid actions that would lead to an escalation of tension and work together to maintain peace and stability,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told a regular briefing.

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“We consider both Iran and Pakistan as close neighbors and major Islamic countries,” she said.

Both Iran and Pakistan are close partners of Beijing and members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Pakistan denounced the strike, near the nations’ shared border late on Tuesday, as “completely unacceptable,” saying it was unprovoked.

Iran offered no immediate official comment but its state-run Nour News agency said the attack destroyed the Pakistan headquarters of the Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice).

Formed in 2012, Jaish al-Adl is blacklisted by Iran as a terrorist group and has carried out several attacks on Iranian soil in recent years.

The strike came after Iran launched missile attacks on “spy headquarters” and “terrorist” targets in Syria, and in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

The Iranian strikes add to multiple crises across the Middle East, with Israel waging a war against Hamas in Gaza and Yemen’s Houthi militia attacking commercial vessels in the Red Sea in solidarity with Palestinians.

-With AFP

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