Iran says it is fully ready for joint anti-terror operations with neighboring Pakistan after terrorists killed six Pakistani troops in an ambush near their joint border Friday.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi strongly condemned the attack on a border checkpoint in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
He also expressed condolences to the Pakistani government and people as well as the families of the victims and those wounded in the terrorist attack.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, Qassemi said, is fully ready to take part in any joint campaign “against the evil phenomenon of terrorism in all its forms and shapes in the region,” IRNA reported.
Six Pakistani soldiers were killed when a paramilitary convoy came under attack by gunmen during a routine patrol in the mountainous district of Kech on Friday.
Pakistan authorities said some 30 militants attacked the Frontier Corps convoy, also wounding 14 soldiers.
The separatist Pakistani group the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack, which also left four attackers killed in the shootout.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday it had lodged a protest with Iran over the killing of the troops. It summoned Iran’s ambassador to demand it take action against the armed group responsible for the attack.
In the past, Iran has repeatedly announced its readiness for joint operations with Pakistan from where militants launch cross-border attacks against Iranian troops and civilians.
Last month, Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli called for intelligence sharing between the two neighbors as he suggested Iranian operations on Pakistani soil under Islamabad’s supervision.
The proposal came after 12 Iranian border guards were abducted near the town of Mirjaveh in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province and taken into Pakistan in April.
Five of the guards were released last month, but the rest of them still remain in captivity despite Pakistan’s repeated promises to have them freed.
Eleven Iranian border guards were killed in an ambush claimed by the Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group near Mirjaveh in April 2017, with the assailants fleeing into Pakistan after the attack.