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Posted by admin on 2019-01-12 in 上海性息 with No Comments


Pakistan has warned that a “cowardly” air strike by US-led forces that killed 11 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border on Wednesday has harmed cooperation in the war against terrorism.

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Pakistan's military claims the incident, at a checkpoint in the country's volatile north-western Mohmand tribal zone was “a completely unprovoked and cowardly attack”, and the foreign office has demanded an explanation.

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The US-led coalition admits carrying out an air and artillery strike in Pakistan but says it was targeting militants hiding near the paramilitary outpost and that it had informed Pakistani forces.

And the US, while saying that it was “sad to see the loss of life” among allied Pakistani troops, insists the attack was “legitimate” and that its forces were acting in “self-defence”.

Islamabad has summoned Washington's ambassador to the region, Anne Patterson, to lodge a formal protest over the operation and convey the Pakistani government's “resentment” at it.

'Gross border violation'

State media reports Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir told Ms Patterson that Pakistan “strongly condemned” the attack, which he called “unprovoked and a gross violation of the international border”.

“The senseless use of airpower against a Pakistani border post by Coalition forces is totally unacceptable,” he said. “It constitutes a blatant and willful negation of the huge sacrifices that Pakistan has made in its endeavour to combat terrorism.”

The US State Department had earlier admitted the airstrike was “regrettable”, and called for an investigation to prevent such an incident from recurring.

“We're sad to see the loss of life among the Pakistani military, who are our partners in fighting terror,” said State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos. “This is a reminder that better cross-border communications between forces is vital.”

But the Pentagon was unrepentant, insisting the attack was justified.

“Although it is early, every indication we have is that it was a legitimate strike in self-defence against forces that had attacked the coalition forces,” said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.

'Self defence' claims

In a statement, the US-led coalition said its soldiers had repelled a militant attack during an operation in Afghanistan that was previously coordinated with Pakistan.

Coalition forces informed the Pakistani army that they were coming under fire from “anti-Afghan” forces in a wooded area near the Gora Prai checkpoint in Pakistan, it said.

Unmanned drone aircraft identified the militants and “in self defence” the coalition fired artillery rounds and then used close-air support “until the threat was eliminated.”

No coalition troops crossed the border, it said.

The incident, the worst of its kind since Pakistan joined the “war on terror” in 2001, comes amid growing unease in Washington and Kabul over Pakistan's efforts to negotiate with Taliban militants.

President Pervez Musharraf backed the US-led toppling of Afghanistan's Taliban regime after the 9/11 attacks on the US, but his support for Washington has angered many Pakistanis and attracted the wrath of militants at home.

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