(Tehran) Gunmen killed nine Pakistani nationals in a home in southeastern Iran on Saturday, ten days after an exchange of deadly strikes between Iran and Pakistan in this troubled border region, according to media and reports. Pakistani officials.
“According to witnesses, gunmen killed nine non-Iranian people in a house near the town of Saravan,” in Sistan-Baluchistan province, Iranian Mehr agency reported.
No group took responsibility for this attack which occurred in the morning, according to the agency.
Iran and Pakistan frequently accuse each other of allowing rebel groups to operate from each other’s territory to launch attacks.
The Pakistani ambassador to Iran, Muhammad Mudassir Tipu, who was received on Saturday by Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi, said he was “deeply shocked by the horrible murder of nine Pakistanis in Saravan” in a message on the X network (formerly Twitter ).
“We call for Iran’s full cooperation in this matter,” he added.
The spokesperson for the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, for her part condemned a “horrible” and “despicable” attack, asking the Iranian authorities “to investigate the incident and hold to account those who are involved in this heinous crime.”
The Pakistani embassy in Iran “will do its best to repatriate the bodies of the victims at the earliest”, she continued, asserting that “such cowardly attacks cannot deter Pakistan from its determination to fight against terrorism “.
In Tehran, Muhammad Mudassir Tipu presented his credentials to Mr. Raïssi on Saturday, the presidency said on its website, a ceremony which ended a brief diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
“Borders are an opportunity for economic exchanges and improving the security of neighbors, and it is necessary to protect this opportunity against any element of insecurity,” Mr. Raïssi declared during the meeting. He described the two countries as “brothers” with “unwavering” relations.
On January 16, Iran carried out a missile and drone attack against a “terrorist” group in Pakistan, which responded on January 18 by in turn targeting “terrorist hideouts” in Iran.
These two attacks left a total of 11 dead, mainly women and children, according to the authorities.
In protest, Pakistan recalled Mr. Mudassir and announced that Iran’s ambassador to Pakistan, who was in his country, would be prevented from returning to Islamabad.
The two countries announced on January 22 the return to normal in their relations and an upcoming visit by the head of Iranian diplomacy Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to Islamabad.
These reciprocal bombings had caused concern in the international community at a time when the Middle East is shaken by the war between the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip.
Sistan-Baluchistan province is one of Iran’s poorest, mostly home to the Baloch ethnic minority, which adheres to Sunni Islam rather than Iran’s predominant Shiite branch.
Clashes are recurrent between Iranian security forces on one side, and rebels from the Baloch minority and radical Sunni groups as well as drug traffickers on the other.