Iranian security guards shot dead at least six Pakistani nationals and injured four others as they intercepted suspected smugglers near the Pakistan-Iran border on Thursday, local media reported.
According to the report, the incident took place near Iranian territory, close to the Zaran border overlooking Chah Bahar which is a regular route for informal trade between Iran and Pakistan. It was unclear whether the incident took place on the Pakistan side of the border or on the Iranian side.
According to sources, Pakistani nationals were travelling in a vehicle carrying cattle and heading towards Chah Bahar from Zaran border when they were intercepted by the Iranian border security guards.
Iranian security personnel without giving any warning opened indiscriminate fire at Pakistani nationals from different directions. Six of the Pakistanis died on the spot after receiving multiple bullet wounds while four others sustained injuries.
The sources said that Pakistani security personnel reportedly took the dead and injured to Chah Bahar where the injured were provided treatment at a state-run hospital while the dead bodies were kept in a morgue for identification and pending legal proceedings.
The identity of the dead and injured could not be ascertained so far.
However, according to some locals, some of the dead were Baloch residents of Gwadar district while others were Pakhtun. They were allegedly being smuggled into Iran in search for better job prospects.
In recent weeks, the Iranians have become sensitive about border security after it was tightened during the recent naval exercises held in the region.
It is pertinent to mention that last month, a number of fishermen were killed when the Iranian coast guards opened fire on fishing vessels from Pakistani territory without any warning.