Iran and Pakistan trade air-strikes across border

Iran Jan. 17 carried out missile and drone strikes against targets of the Jaish al-Adl militant group in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Pakistan called the assault, which resulted in the death of two children, an "unprovoked violation" of its airspace. The unprecedented strikes, attributed to the Revolutionary Guards, are seen as a response to the recent deadly suicide bombing by the Islamic State in Iran. (Times of India) Pakistan retaliated the next day with strikes on villages in Iran's Sistan & Baluchistan province, reportedly killing seven, including four children. (WION, CNN

Pakistan code-named the retaliatory strikes Operation "Marg Bar Sarmachar," which translates from the Urdu as "Death to Insurgents," saying they targeted positions of the Balochistan Liberation Army. The BLA, supposedly backed by Iran, has for years carried out a low-level insurgency in Pakistan. (Al Jazeera, FirstPost)

Gunmen in Iran kill Pakistani nationals near border

Unknown armed men killed nine Pakistani nationals in a house in the Sirkan neighborhood of Saravan in Sistan-Baluchistan province, Iranian media report. The attack comes as Tehran and Islamabad attempt to patch things up following the recent tit-for-tat air-strikes on each others' territory. (AFP, Al Jazeera, Press TV

Twin blasts kill 28 in Baluchistan

Two bomb explosions near candidates' offices in the Pakistani province of Balochistan killed at least 28 people and wounded dozens on the eve of general elections, officials said. The first blast killed 16 people in Pishin district, north of Quetta city. The second explosion left 12 people dead in Qila Saifullah to the east. The Islamic State group said it was responsible for both attacks. 

The bomb in Pishin, a town about 100km (62 miles) south-east of the Afghan border, went off in front of an independent candidate's party office.  The second blast targeted the election office of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party (JUI-F). (BBC News)