Pakistan withdraws envoy from Iran after deadly airspace breach

Iran’s missile strikes on Pakistan and other neighbours have sparked a diplomatic crisis, as Pakistan withdraws its envoy and bars the return of Iran’s ambassador.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry announced on Wednesday that it had summoned back its ambassador from Iran, following a serious violation of its airspace by Iranian missiles, which killed two children and injured three others.

The incident has escalated the already strained relations between the two neighbouring Muslim countries. According to Pakistan, the Iranian missiles were aimed at two camps of Jaish al Adl, a militant group that operates in the border region and has carried out several attacks on Iranian forces in the past.

However, Pakistan did not verify the type of the violation, or the exact location where it occurred. The foreign ministry spokesperson did not acknowledge the casualties of the children in her statement on Wednesday.

She condemned the violation as a flagrant and unprovoked assault on Pakistan’s sovereignty and said it was “unacceptable”. “Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act,” she warned.

The attack on Pakistan came a day after Iran launched similar strikes on its other neighbours, Iraq and Syria, claiming to have hit an Israeli spy centre. Meanwhile, Pakistan has also decided to bar the return of Iran’s ambassador, who is currently in his home country, the ministry’s spokesperson said in a statement.

Officials in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, which shares a border with Iran, said that four missiles had landed in the Panjgur district, deep inside Pakistani territory. “Four missiles were fired in the village of Koh-i-Sabaz which is around 50 km inside Pakistan soil,” a senior official of the Panjgur administration told Reuters. He said that a mosque and three houses were damaged in the attack.

Another official said that two young girls had lost their lives and three other family members had sustained injuries.

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