Guterres issues call for Pakistan, Iran to deal with security concerns through dialogue

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United Nations, January 19 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has issued a call to Pakistan and Iran to sort out their security concerns through dialogue and avoid escalating the military strikes, according to his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

“The Secretary-General underlines that all security concerns between the two countries must be addressed by peaceful means, through dialogue and cooperation, in accordance with the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and good neighbourly relations," Dujarric said on Thursday.

“Deeply concerned about the recent exchange of military strikes... He urges both countries to exercise maximum restraint to avoid a further escalation of tension."

Iran and Pakistan carried out attacks inside each other’s territories against what they said were terrorist bases.

Iran struck two bases of the Sunni terror group Jaish al-Adl in Balochistan's Koh-e-Sabz, about 50 km inside Pakistan, with missiles and drones on Tuesday.

According to Islamabad, two children were killed and several people were injured.

Pakistan, where an election is due next month, retaliated on Thursday with air strikes in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Its Foreign Ministry said that aircraft, rockets and missiles carried out the “specifically targeted precision military strikes”.

Iran said that nine “foreigners” -- three women, two men and four children -- were killed.

An Islamabad spokesperson said they were of Pakistani origin.