Pakistan asks Iran to act on militants behind Baluchistan killings

The Baloch insurgents who killed 14 people along Pakistan's coast this week are based in neighbouring Iran, Pakistan's foreign minister said on Saturday (April 20).

The claim has heightemed tensions ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s trip to Tehran on Sunday (April 21).

Relations between Iran and Pakistan have been strained in recent months, with both sides accusing each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.

A new group representing various insurgent outfits operating in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province, claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday (April 18), when 14 passengers were killed after being kidnapped from buses in southwestern Pakistan.

The militants checked the identity cards of passengers, singled out some, then kidnapped and killed them. The Baloch Raji Aajoi Saangar (BRAS) umbrella group said it targeted Pakistani navy and Coast Guard officials travelling on buses.

Ethnic Baloch people straddle the porous and lengthy Iran-Pakistan border, with many insurgent groups crisscrossing the border, to the annoyance of authorities. Qureshi said Pakistan has decided to fence the border, just as it has started fencing its frontier with Afghanistan.

(Production: Shahabuddin Shahab, Emily Cooper)

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