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Iran summons Pakistan envoy over border guards killings

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani wrote a letter to Pak PM Nawaz Sharif to arrest and prosecute the militants responsible for killing Iranian guards. Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters Tehran Apr 28, 2017, 02.28 PM (IST)

Iran's foreign ministry has summoned Pakistan's ambassador in Tehran to protest against the killing of nine Iranian border guards by Sunni militants attacking from neighbouring Pakistan, Iran's state news agency IRNA reported on Friday.

The Sunni Muslim militant group called Jaish al Adl, or the Army of Justice, has claimed responsibility for the attack on Wednesday in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan Province.

"Iran expects Pakistan to take serious and essential measures to arrest and punish those terrorists responsible for the killing of our nine guards," IRNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.

"The message was delivered to Ambassador Asif Ali Khan Durrani on Friday," he said.

Iran's southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, whose majority population is Sunni Muslim Baluch people like those across the border in Pakistan's Baluchistan province, lies on a major transit route for drug smugglers. It has long been plagued by unrest both from them and from separatist militants.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also called on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to prosecute the militants who had killed the Iranian border guards.

"Regrettably, a lack of appropriate measures and necessary prosecution on the part of the Pakistani government have caused great loss of lives and property for Iran," Rouhani said in a statement, quoted by the semi-official Mehr news agency.

"We expect those responsible for this terrorist attack to be arrested and prosecuted," President Hassan Rouhani said in a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

(Reuters & AFP)

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