Iran criticises Pakistan over militant groups' use of its soil

Indo Asian News Service

Tehran, April 28 (IANS) Iran's Foreign Ministry on Thursday criticised the Pakistani government for its "failure" to protect its borders against militant groups who recently killed Iranian border guards in a cross-border attack, Tasnim news agency reported.

Xinhua news agency quoted Spokesman Bahram Qasemi ass saying that Pakistan should be held accountable for the presence and operation of militant groups in its territory.

The Islamic republic will spare no efforts to follow up on the issue through all diplomatic and political channels, Qasemi was quoted as saying.

On Wednesday, 10 Iranian security personnel were killed in the clashes with the armed groups in the southeastern border region of Iran.

Four guards were injured in the clashes, which took place at the Mirjaveh border point in Sistan and Baluchestan province.

The border guards were patrolling when they were targeted, Tehran Times daily reported.

"Our border guards had been targeted from inside Pakistan's soil," Iranian police speaker Saeed Montazerolmahdi was quoted as saying by the daily.

"Our investigations show that long-range arms had been used to launch the attack," he said.

Over the past decades, Iran's eastern and southeastern border had been the scene of clashes between Iranian security forces and armed drug smugglers on the one hand and security forces with the ethnic Sunni rebels on the other.

Jaish al-Adl, or "Army of Justice" has claimed responsibility for the attack on Iran's border guards.

The Sunni rebel group claimed to fight for the rights of Sunni Muslims in the Iran's provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan.

On Thursday, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli also said Tehran will pursue the commitments of neighbouring Pakistan to the security and border agreements between the two countries through diplomatic channels.

--IANS

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