Authorities in Pakistan said Wednesday that a militant attack from across the Iranian side of the border between the two countries had killed four soldiers.
The attack took place in the remote Panjgur district in southwestern Baluchistan province, the military said in a statement.
“Terrorists used Iranian soil to target a convoy of security forces patrolling along the border,” the statement said. It added that the "Iranian side has been asked to hunt down the terrorists on their side” of the more than 900-kilometer border.
No group immediately claimed responsibility. The Iranian embassy in Islamabad said on Twitter that Iran “strongly condemns (the) terrorist attack” on Pakistani troops. “Terrorism is the common pain of Iran and Pakistan. Both sides are victims of the ominous phenomenon,” the embassy said.
For its part, Tehran alleges that anti-Iran Sunni militants use hideouts in the Pakistani province to orchestrate “terrorist” violence in the Iranian border region known as Sistan-Baluchistan.
Separately, the Pakistani military Wednesday raided a suspected “terrorist” hideout in Baluchistan’s Hoshab district. The ensuing "heavy exchange of fire” killed four militants, according to a military statement.
Ethnic Baluch separatists routinely carry out attacks on security forces and say they are fighting for the independence of the province, which is rich in natural resources.
Baluchistan also shares a major chunk of the country’s nearly 2,600-kilometer border with Afghanistan. The province is at the center of a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure development project China is funding in Pakistan under Beijing’s global Belt and Road Initiative.
Editor's note: The story has been updated to include a statement from the Iranian embassy in Islamabad.