Monday, 3 October 2011

Pakistan Army Firing on US Army in Afghanistan




KABUL, Afghanistan -- Pakistani military units fired shots at American and Afghan government troops along the Afghanistan border several times over the past year, in encounters the United States has downplayed but that illustrate the fraying relations between the countries, according to officials.
On Wednesday, Afghanistan's foreign ministry issued an angry warning to Pakistan after claiming that about 300 rockets had been launched across the Pakistani border into the Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan, killing an unspecified number of civilians.
Pakistan responded that its government was targeting insurgents belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban, a designated terrorist group, not Afghan civilians.
But last week's cross-border fire was far from an isolated incident.
Last month, U.S. Apache helicopter crews were fired upon by Pakistan, and they returned fire, wounding at least two Pakistani soldiers, International Security Assistance Force officials said. The American aircraft were in Afghan airspace, according to an ISAF spokesman. Pakistan accused the helicopter crews of crossing the border.
That encounter was reported by ISAF, but many others are not, U.S. and Afghan officials told The Washington Examiner.
"We're not allowed to return fire to coordinates inside the Pakistan border," a military official told The Examiner on the condition he not be named. "We know it's the Pakistani military in many cases. Pakistan has been instigating, aiding Haqqani, and has been purposefully working to turn back any gains ISAF has made in the region."
Another U.S. official said, "This has been going on for some time, but because it's so sensitive it has been kept relatively quiet."

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