Iranian authorities on Thursday handed over the dead bodies of nine Pakistani nationals, who were shot and killed in Iran to authorities at the Pakistan-Iran border Taftan on Thursday.
The deceased were handed over with solemnity by the Iranian Border Security Guards at the Corridor Gate of the Pakistan-Iran border.
Taftan Assistant Commissioner Waqar Kakar formally received the bodies on behalf of the Pakistani government in a ceremony attended by Siddiq Baloch, the Consul General of Pakistan in Zahedan. The handover marked a sombre occasion reflecting the tragic loss of lives.
The bodies were subsequently transported to Punjab via a special plane from Juzzak Airport in Saindak, as informed by Chagai Deputy Commissioner Tufail Baloch.
The unfortunate incident transpired when Pakistani citizens were targeted in a heinous attack by unidentified assailants in Sarawan city, situated in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province. The incident unfolded on the night of January 26 and 27, near the Panjgur district of Pakistan.
Read: Nine Pakistanis killed in Iran ambush
The Pakistani government, expressing its deepest condolences to the grieving families, is actively collaborating with Iranian authorities to investigate the circumstances surrounding this appalling act of violence.
The victims have been identified as Malik Azhar, son of Nazir Hussain, Muhammad Shoaib, son of Nazir Ahmed, Nazir Ahmed, son of Ghulam Muhammad Jan, Muhammad Akmal, Muhammad Abu Bakr, son of Ghulam Yasin, Shehryar, son of Ghulam Hussain, Shabbir Ahmed, son of Muhammad Nawaz, Muhammad Nadeem, son of Gulzar, Muhammad Shahzad, son of Abdul Malik.
All the deceased hailed from Punjab province’s Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Lodhran, Multan and Bahawalpur regions.
Following the gun attack in Iran, families of the victims protested in front of the assistant commissioner’s office in Alipur and demanded that the government ensure the return of the remains of their loved ones for burial in their native towns.
Pakistan urged the Iranian authorities to initiate a comprehensive investigation into the incident and hold those responsible for the killing of Pakistanis accountable.
Iran’s Mehr news agency reported that “according to witnesses, unknown armed men killed nine non-Iranians in a house in the Sirkan neighbourhood of Saravan city”.
The media further reported that no entity had yet claimed responsibility for the attack, adding that the deceased hailed from Punjab, specifically originating from Multan, Bahawalpur, and Muzaffargarh districts.