News / Asia

    Pakistan Halts NATO Supply Route in Anger Over Helicopter Attack

    Pakistani security personnel stop truck carrying supplies for NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan at Takhtabeg check post in Pakistani tribal area of Khyber, Pakistan, on their way to Torkham border post on Saturday, November  26, 2011.
    Pakistani security personnel stop truck carrying supplies for NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan at Takhtabeg check post in Pakistani tribal area of Khyber, Pakistan, on their way to Torkham border post on Saturday, November 26, 2011.
    Kurt Achin

    The deeply strained relationship between Pakistan and the United States appears to have taken yet another turn for the worse, in the aftermath of what Pakistan describes as an unprovoked pre-dawn attack on its forces by NATO aircraft across the Afghan border.  At least 26 Pakistani military personnel, including two officers, were killed, and 14 others were wounded. Islamabad is strongly protesting the incident.

    Pakistan has blocked NATO's supply routes that pass through its territory to Afghanistan, following what officials here describe as an aerial attack on its soldiers in the early hours of Saturday morning local time.

    The Pakistani military says NATO helicopters and fighter jets "carried out unprovoked firing" on two of its posts in the Mohmand tribal district bordering Afghanistan.  A military statement calls for "strong and urgent action" against thoseresponsible "for this aggression."

    Washington's ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad to explain the incident.  Munter says Washington regrets the loss of life among "any Pakistani servicemen," and promised to work closely with Pakistan to find out what happened.

    Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani has strongly condemned the attack, and convened an emergency meeting of senior leaders to discuss next steps.  

    NATO says General John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, is personally paying the "highest attention" to the matter.  Brigadier General Carsten Jacobsen is a spokesman for the force.

    "He's committed to thoroughly investigate and determine the  facts.  He expresses his sincere and heartfelt personal  condolences to the families and loved ones of any member of the  Pakistan security forces  who may have been killed or injured."

    The NATO force says it remains committed to improving security relations with Pakistan, including coordinating cooperation along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

    That border is extremely mountainous, winding, and porous to foot  traffic back and forth - posing a constant challenge for military planners on both sides.  The Taliban and other militants take advantage of the nearly 2,400-kilometer-long border to carry out attacks on U.S. and NATO forces.

    A similar incident happened about a year ago when international security forces accidentally killed two Pakistani soldiers.  Then, too, Pakistan temporarily choked off the route on which NATO forces have depended for supplies since they began military operations against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

    The timing of this incident may further sour the attitude of Pakistanis who already feel irritated over what they perceive as infractions against their sovereignty.  In May, U.S. Special Forces.swept into the Pakistani garrison town of Abbotabad, not far from the capital, to kill al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

    Years of unmanned U.S. drone airstrikes against Pakistan-based targets have killed both militants and civilians.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora