Pakistan protests to US coalition forces over civilian deaths

March 13th, 2008 - 7:21 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, March 13 (DPA) Pakistan lodged a “strong protest” with the US-led coalition in Afghanistan after one of their artillery shells killed four people on the Pakistani side of a remote border region, an army spokesman said Thursday. Two children and two women were killed early Wednesday when coalition forces fighting militants in Afghanistan fired artillery shells into Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency and destroyed a house, Pakistan army spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said.

It took a day to confirm the deaths because the remote area along the mountainous border has little infrastructure and it took time for Pakistani troops to get there, but once confirmed, “we lodged a strong protest”, Abbas told DPA.

“It was an accident. It didn’t happen by design,” he added.

Pakistan’s tribal areas have experienced similar attacks since Taliban and Al Qaeda militants fled into the area after US-led forces attacked Afghanistan in late 2001.

In June last year three rockets, which were fired from Afghanistan hit a madrassa in a small village south of Dattakhil area of North Waziristan, killing more than 30 people, a local security official told DPA at the time.

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