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WORLD WAR III
See other WORLD WAR III Articles

Title: Pakistan stops NATO supplies after raid kills up to 28
Source: Rueters
URL Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011 ... tan-nato-idUSTRE7AP03S20111126
Published: Nov 26, 2011
Author: Shams Mohmand
Post Date: 2011-11-26 13:58:05 by Happy Quanzaa
Keywords: Shit Happens, 72 Virgins
Views: 1521
Comments: 2

(Reuters) - NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military outposts in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border on Saturday, killing as many as 28 troops and plunging U.S.-Pakistan relations deeper into crisis.

Pakistan retaliated by shutting down vital NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, used for sending in nearly half of the alliance's shipments by land.

The attack is the worst incident of its kind since Pakistan uneasily allied itself with Washington immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. targets.

Relations between the United States and Pakistan, its ally in the war on militancy, have been strained following the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces in a raid on the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad in May, which Pakistan called a flagrant violation of sovereignty.

A spokesman for NATO-led troops in Afghanistan confirmed that NATO aircraft had been called in to support troops in the area and had probably killed some Pakistani soldiers.

"Close air support was called in, in the development of the tactical situation, and it is what highly likely caused the Pakistan casualties," said General Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

He added that he could not confirm the number of casualties, but ISAF is investigating. "We are aware that Pakistani soldiers perished. We don't know the size, the magnitude," he said.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said the killings were "an attack on Pakistan's sovereignty" and added, "We will not let any harm come to Pakistan's sovereignty and solidarity."

The Foreign Office said it would take up the matter "in the strongest terms" with NATO and the United States, while the powerful Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, said in a statement that steps would be taken to respond "to this irresponsible act.

"A strong protest has been launched with NATO/ISAF in which it has been demanded that strong and urgent action be taken against those responsible for this aggression."

Two military officials said that up to 28 troops had been killed and 11 wounded in the attack on the outposts, about 2.5 km (1.5 miles) from the Afghan border. The Pakistani military said 24 troops were killed and 13 wounded.

EARLY MORNING ATTACK

It remains unclear what exactly happened, but the attack took place around 2 a.m. in the Baizai area of Mohmand, where Pakistani troops are fighting Taliban militants. Across the border is Afghanistan's Kunar province, which has a strong insurgent presence and has seen years of heavy fighting.

"Pakistani troops effectively responded immediately in self-defense to NATO/ISAF's aggression with all available weapons," the Pakistani military statement said.

The commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, General John R. Allen, offered his condolences to the family of any Pakistani soldiers who "may have been killed or injured".

Around 40 army troops were stationed at the outposts, military sources said. Two officers were reported among the dead. "They without any reasons attacked on our post and killed soldiers asleep," said a senior Pakistani military officer, requesting anonymity.

The Afghanistan-Pakistan border is often poorly marked, and Afghan and Pakistani maps have differences of several kilometers in some places, military officials have said.

However Pakistani military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said that NATO had been given maps of the area, with Pakistani military posts identified.

"When the other side is saying there is a doubt about this, there is no doubt about it. These posts have been marked and handed over to the other side for marking on their maps and are clearly inside Pakistani territory."

The incident occurred a day after Allen met Kayani to discuss border control and enhanced cooperation.

A senior military source told Reuters that after the meeting that set out "to build confidence and trust, these kind of attacks should not have taken place".

BLOCKED SUPPLIES

Pakistan is a vital land route for nearly half of NATO supplies shipped overland to its troops in Afghanistan, a NATO spokesman said. Land shipments only account for about two thirds of the alliance's cargo shipments into Afghanistan.

Hours after the raid, NATO supply trucks and fuel tankers bound for Afghanistan were stopped at Jamrud town in the Khyber tribal region near the city of Peshawar, officials said.

The border crossing at Chaman in Baluchistan was also closed, Frontier Corps officials said.

"We have halted the supplies and some 40 tankers and trucks have been returned from the check post in Jamrud," Mutahir Zeb, a senior government official, told Reuters.

Another official said NATO supplies had been sent back to Peshawar due to the "possibility of attacks on NATO supplies passing through the volatile Khyber tribal region."

A similar incident on Sept 30, 2010, which killed two Pakistani troops, led to the closure of one of NATO's supply routes through Pakistan for 10 days. NATO apologized for that incident, which it said happened when NATO gunships mistook warning shots by the Pakistani forces for a militant attack.

U.S.-Pakistan relations were already reeling from a tumultuous year that saw the bin Laden raid, the jailing of a CIA contractor, and U.S. accusations that Pakistan backed a militant attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

"This will have a catastrophic effect on Pakistan-U.S. relations. The public in Pakistan are going to go berserk on this," said Charles Heyman, senior defense analyst at British military website Armedforces.co.uk.

Other analysts, including Rustam Shah Mohmand, a former ambassador to Afghanistan, predicted Pakistan would protest and close the supply lines for some time, but that ultimately "things will get back to normal".

(Additional reporting by Bushra Takseen, Saud Mehsud, Jibran Ahmad and Saeed Achakzai in Pakistan, Tim Castle in London, and Hamid Shalizi and Christine Kearney in Afghanistan; Writing by Augustine Anthony, Chris Allbritton and Emma Graham-Harrison; Editing by Rosalind Russell)

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#1. To: Happy Quanzaa (#0)

Obama is bombing a country that has nuclear weapons and has radical Islamic elements in the government and military.

The next sound you hear will be the District of Columbia being incinerated.

What a bunch of idiots.


A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure

jwpegler  posted on  2011-11-26   17:01:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Happy Quanzaa (#0)

14 Days to evac Pakistan or there will be a coup.

Or both.

mcgowanjm  posted on  2011-11-27   10:20:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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