Skip to comments.Pakistan slams US after air strike kills 11 soldiers
Posted on 06/11/2008 8:45:53 AM PDT by gandalftb
PESHAWAR (AFP) - Pakistan condemned a "cowardly" US air strike that killed 11 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border on Wednesday".
The attack on a checkpost in Pakistan's volatile tribal zone was the first of its kind.
A Pakistani army spokesman "condemned this completely unprovoked and cowardly act" and blamed the coalition for the "aerial attack" that destroyed a paramilitary post in the Mohmand tribal region, a statement said.
It confirmed that 11 soldiers were killed including an officer.
"The incident had hit at the very basis of cooperation and sacrifice with which Pakistani soldiers are supporting the coalition in the war against terror," it quoted the spokesman as saying.
Pakistan had lodged a strong protest with the coalition, it said.
Heavily armed local tribesmen brandishing rocket launchers and Kalashnikov rifles gathered near the checkpost in the mountainous Gora Prai area to show their support after the attack, residents said.
Pakistani security officials said the deaths came after Afghan troops crossed the porous frontier and tried to occupy the strategic Pakistani post in the troubled tribal belt, which borders eastern Afghanistan.
The post was in an area that has long been disputed between the two countries.
Pakistani troops repulsed the Afghan soldiers and the coalition then bombed the area. Coalition aircraft also killed around 15 Taliban militants about a kilometre (half a mile) away, the officials said.
A spokesman for Pakistani Taliban militants, Maulvi Omar, said eight "mujahideen (holy warriors)" were killed in an air strike by coalition helicopters.
He also said the rebels had shot down a coalition helicopter and captured seven Afghan soldiers when they were returning from "attacking" the post. There was no confirmation of either claim.
(Excerpt) Read more at afp.com ...
Afghan troops wanted to set up a checkpoint in the Speena Soka and Sargai Gandove area to secure a border crossing and have a high ground advantage over the Taliban just across the disputed border.
The Taliban have been conducting a lot of cross-border hit and run. The Frontier Constabulary (FC) has a border post there manned by local paramilitaries friendly to the Taliban.
Lots of opium and wheat smuggling goes on here by the Taliban.
Yesterday Afghanis were setting up a post opposite the FC post on the hilltop of Gora Payo. However, the high-ground part of the post was 70 meters into Paki claimed territory, which the Afghans don't recognize.
That's when the Pakis fired off mortars and small arms and the fight was on. The local Taliban, a kilometer away attacked with rpgs and small arms. We brought air support and Apaches.
Of about 40 FC, 15 are confirmed dead including a Major Akbar of the Pakistani Army.
There are constant daily skirmishes here and the Afghans have had enough. The local FC are little better than the Taliban and many are Taliban.
We have a hot pursuit/open-border rule of engagement now. It is actually an advantage to let the Taliban operate close to the border and bunch up.
Breaking, check this out:
Now that makes sense...
They think that's bad? Wait till Obama invades their country.
The KIA, Major Akbar, appears to be a Pakistani Regular Army advisor to the FC paramilitaries.
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