Iran and Pakistan have carried out air attacks on each other’s territories, targeting armed groups near their 900km-long (559-mile) volatile border, which they say were meant to ensure their respective national security.

Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) targeted an armed group in Panjgur town of Pakistan’s Balochistan province late on Tuesday, prompting Pakistan to bomb hideouts of armed groups in the Sistan-Baluchestan province of Iran early on Thursday.

Let’s take a look at why the neighbours have resorted to direct military strikes, who the targets were, and what the attacks tell us.