State-sponsor of terrorism Iran has fired at least five mortar shells from its territory into Sunni-majority Pakistan’s largest province of Balochistan, nearly two weeks after the head of the Shiite Islamic Republic’s military threatened to hit terror “safe havens” in Pakistan in response to a cross-border attack by a Sunni terrorist group.
Pakistan’s Balochistan province predominantly houses the Baloch, also spelled Baluch, a minority group in the region that reportedly faces oppression by Islamabad and Tehran.
“Five mortar shells were fired from the Iranian side between pillars 104 and 106. Luckily, no casualties occurred,” local Commissioner Zafar Kubdani confirmed, according to the Express Tribune.
“All the mortar shells landed in a barren land far away from the population,” notes Asian News International (ANI), citing Samaa TV.
The mortar shells were launched on Sunday as U.S President Donald Trump visited the Middle East for the first time as America’s commander-in-chief, attending a summit hosted by Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia to organize a predominantly Sunni Muslim and Arab coalition against the Islamic Republic.
Sunni-majority Pakistan, Iran’s neighbor, attended the event during which the Shiite powerhouse was singled out for criticism and fomenting terrorism across the Middle East.
Nearly two weeks after the Sunni terrorist group Jaish ul-Adl (Army of Justice) claimed responsibility for an attack that killed ten Iranian guards along the Shiite country’s border with Pakistan, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri, the chief of Iran’s armed forces, declared: “We expect Pakistani officials to control the borders, arrest the terrorists and shut down their bases. … If the terrorist attacks continue, we will hit their safe havens and cells, wherever they are.”
The terrorist group that took responsibility for the assault is fighting for independence in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan, the country’s largest province and home to the Baloch people, a mainly Sunni minority group in the country.
On the Pakistani side of the border lies Balochistan, also home to a Baloch minority and the Sunni-majority country’s largest province.
Human rights groups and other organizations have also accused Iran of committing atrocities against the Baloch people and other Sunnis within its borders.
According to ANI, Iran and Pakistan share an estimated 660-mile long porous border.
“There have been burgeoning incidents of Iranian forces firing mortar shells into Pakistani area. Pakistan also lodged a protest in February and March in this regard. During the past few years, Pakistan has accused Iranian forces of violating its territorial integrity,” reports Daily Pakistan.