10 Iran security personnel dead in jihadist attacks: TV

AFP , Thursday 4 Apr 2024

Jihadist attacks in southeastern Iran near Pakistan killed 10 Iranian security personnel, state media reported on Thursday, doubling an earlier toll.

Jaish al-Adl
Jaish al-Adl terrorists at an undisclosed location in Pakistan s southwestern province of Balochistan. Photo via social media


The Pakistan-based Sunni Muslim rebel group Jaish al-Adl, or Army of Justice, claimed the attacks.

The number of dead is almost as large as from a similar attack in December, which the same group claimed and which was followed by tit-for-tat air strikes with Pakistan.

The attacks hit Sistan-Baluchistan province which has for years faced unrest involving drug-smuggling gangs, rebels from the Baluchi minority and Sunni Muslim extremists.

"The case of the terrorist attacks was closed with the martyrdom of 10 members of the security forces," and the killing of 18 "terrorists", state television said.

Majid Mirahmadi, vice-minister of the interior, had earlier told the channel that five members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the police died during two night-time attacks against a Guards base in Rask and a police post in Chabahar.

"The terrorists had planned to seize military bases," Mirahmadi later told state television, adding that "none of them survived" the clashes.

He added that the assailants appeared to be foreigners, without providing further details.

The number of assailants killed in the clashes also rose from the 15 which General Mohammad Pakpour, who heads the Guards' land forces, had announced on television.

The group Jaish al-Adl claimed the attacks on its Telegram channel. Formed in 2012, it is listed as a "terrorist" group by Iran and also by the United States.

Series of attacks

"Pakistan unequivocally condemns the heinous and dastardly terrorist attacks at police and security installations," the foreign ministry in Islamabad said.

"We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and pray for the recovery of the injured."

It added that Pakistan "is deeply concerned about the growing acts of terrorism in our region".

Jaish al-Adl claimed an attack in December that killed 11 officers at a police station in Rask, one of the deadliest in years.

The group claimed another Rask police station attack that killed one officer on January 10.

A week later, Iran said it retaliated with drone and missile strikes against Jaish al-Adl targets over the border in Pakistan.

In response, Pakistan said it carried out air strikes against Baluchi separatists inside Iran.

The Iranian strikes killed at least two children, according to Pakistan, while Pakistan's strikes killed at least nine people in Iran, according to the official IRNA news agency.

The rare cross-border fire fuelled regional tensions already inflamed by the Israeli war on Gaza, but by late January the neighbours were seeking to mend relations.

Baluchistan is split in two by the porous border between the two countries.

Impoverished Sistan-Baluchistan province, which also borders Afghanistan, is one of the few mainly Sunni provinces in Shia-dominated Iran.

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