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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid