JF-17 shoots down Iran’s spy drone

QUETTA - Pakistan Air Force Tuesday shot down an Iranian spy drone flying in Panjgur airspace.

The incident is first of its kind in the history of two Islamic countries, which share a 900-km-long porous border.

Wajahat Khan, a journalist and security expert, tweeted: “Confirmed: Iranian spy drone shot down by PAF JF-17 over Panjgur, Balochistan, 45Km inside Pak territory. Unprecedented. New front opening?”

The drone’s downing was reported amid an emergency flag meeting between Pakistani and Iranian officials following the unprovoked firing of several mortar shells into Pakistani territory over the weekend.

On Sunday, Iranian border forces fired several shells near Prom, an area of Panjgur. No casualty was reported though. On May 27, a mortar shell fired from Iranian side in Panjgur district had killed one person. On May 21, at least five mortar shells were fired into Taftan from across the border.

Pakistan has accused Iranians of violating its territorial integrity and lodged protests several times in the last few years.

The two countries had in 2014 decided to boost intelligence coordination to wipe out terrorists from the border region.

Pakistan, as part of its counter-terrorism efforts, has recently stepped up border management in an attempt to better check cross-border movements of suspected terrorists.

Work on Rs20 million Pakistan Gate in Taftan along the Pak-Iran border was completed in 2016. This border crossing point is the oldest trade route to Iran and Europe and thousands of foreigners and locals travelling to Europe and Iran by road each year use this crossing point.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt