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Pakistan Condemns US Attack On Troops

From a joyous Reuters:

In this photo released by Pakistan’s Press Information Department, Pakistani officials and others offer funeral prayers to Pakistani paramilitary troops who lost their lives during a clash at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Wednesday, June 11, 2008, in Peshawar, Pakistan. Pakistan’s army on Wednesday accused the U.S.-led coalition of killing 11 Pakistani paramilitary troops in an airstrike along the volatile Afghan border.

Pakistan condemns “cowardly” U.S. attack; 11 dead

By Kamran Haider

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan said on Wednesday an “unprovoked and cowardly” air strike by U.S. forces had killed 11 Pakistani soldiers on its border with Afghanistan and undermined the basis of security cooperation.

The soldiers were killed at a border post in the Mohmand region, opposite Afghanistan’s Kunar province, late on Tuesday as U.S. coalition forces in Afghanistan battled militants attacking from Pakistan, a Pakistani security official said.

The U.S. military said in a statement issued on Wednesday that it had coordinated the artillery and air strike with Pakistan, but was investigating further…

In its strongest criticism of the U.S. military since joining the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism, the Pakistani military condemned the killing of the 11 paramilitary soldiers, including an officer. If confirmed, it would be the most Pakistani soldiers ever killed in an attack by U.S. forces.

The attack “hit at the very basis of cooperation and sacrifice with which Pakistani soldiers are supporting the coalition in the war against terror,” the military said.

“Such acts of aggression do not serve the common cause of fighting terrorism,” it said in a statement.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also condemned the attack.

“We will take a stand for sovereignty, integrity and self-respect and we will not allow our soil (to be attacked),” he told parliament.

Earlier, a Pakistani security official said the soldiers were killed after militants had launched an attack into Afghanistan.

“The militants launched a cross-border attack into Afghanistan … our soldiers were killed in a counter-offensive by forces in Afghanistan,” said the official, who declined to be identified.

In response, the U.S. military said the counter-offensive had been aimed at anti-Afghan militants and Pakistan had been told in advance.

“Shortly after the attack began, coalition forces informed the Pakistan army that they were being engaged by anti-Afghan forces in a wooded area near the Gorparai checkpoint,” the statement said.

“At that same time, an unmanned aerial system also identified anti-Afghan forces firing at coalition forces. In self-defense, coalition forces fired artillery rounds at the militants.”

It said the operation “had been previously coordinated with Pakistan.”

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said they attacked U.S. and Afghan forces as they were setting up a position on the Pakistan side of the border, and eight Taliban were killed and nine wounded in subsequent U.S. bombing.

The militant spokesman, Maulvi Omar, said by telephone he had heard that U.S. aircraft had also bombed a nearby Pakistani post, while the Taliban had captured seven Afghan troops and shot down a helicopter

Pakistan supported the Taliban until the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, when it threw its support behind the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism.

Despite that, Pakistan has been unable to shake off suspicion that elements within its security forces help the Taliban, or at least turn a blind eye as the militants organize their insurgency from Pakistan.

Pakistan denies the accusations, saying it has lost about 1,000 soldiers battling militants in border areas that have never come under the control of any government.

Thank goodness Musharrif’s terrorist-supporting opponents have gained so much power in the Pakistani government and we can count on stories like these on a near-daily basis.

Who is to say that any of this actually happened the way it is being portrayed? The Pakistan troops may have been attacked by the Taliban.

Or it may have been friendly fire, which is all too common under the best of circumstances.

Or, they may have been cahooting with them. As the article suggests, it wouldn’t be the first time.

But it looks like the Pakistan government and Reuters are taking the word of the Taliban.

By the way, would it be rude to ask just exactly what are “paramilitary troops”? Does that mean they don’t deign to wear a uniform or any other distinguishing insignia?

Still, just wait until President Obama gets in. The minute the Pakistanis don’t cooperate we will bomb them and invade their country.

He promised.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, June 11th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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