NATO investigating ‘cross-border air strike killing 3 Pak troops’ claims

September 30th, 2010 - 4:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Kabul, Sep 30 (ANI): The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has stated that it is investigating claims by Pakistani security officials that three of their soldiers were killed in a cross-border attack in an air strike by its helicopters.

“Early this morning, a coalition force observed what they believed was a group of insurgents attempting to fire mortars at a coalition base in the border area of Dand Patan district, Paktiya province,” the Dawn quoted NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), as saying in statement.

“A coalition air weapons team was called for fire support and engaged the insurgents,” it said, adding, “The team reported they did not cross into Pakistan airspace and believed the insurgent location was on the Afghan side of the border.”

Following claims by Pakistani military officials that the air raid by NATO helicopters had killed their border troops, the ISAF said it was working with the Pakistanis “to ascertain if the two events are linked”, adding that “the matter remains under investigation.”

According to Pakistani security officials, the cross-border air strike took place in Mandati Kandaw village located northwest of Parachinar, which is the main town of Kurram district, and close to the Afghan border in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt.

This strike was the third NATO raid across the Afghanistan border into Pakistan over the past week.

Earlier this week, following aerial engagement in Pakistani territory by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik had called it a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, and assured the Senate that the Afghan ambassador would be summoned to explain his position over the cross-border air raids by the ISAF. (ANI)

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