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  • NATO helicopter attacks Pakistani army post

    NATO helicopter attacks Pakistani army post
    By ISHTIAQ MAHSUD and HEIDI VOGT, Associated Press Ishtiaq Mahsud And Heidi Vogt, Associated Press 49 mins ago

    DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan A NATO helicopter attacked a Pakistani army post near the Afghan border on Tuesday, injuring two soldiers and further increasing tensions following the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, Pakistani officials said.

    A similar event last year in which two Pakistani soldiers were killed prompted Pakistan to close for over a week a key border crossing that NATO uses to ship supplies into landlocked Afghanistan.

    NATO coalition spokesman Lt. Col. John Dorrian confirmed there were helicopters flying near the Pakistani border Tuesday and that there was "an incident." The alliance was investigating, he said.

    A Western military official said the incident started before dawn, when a NATO base in Afghanistan received intermittent direct and indirect fire from the Pakistani side of the border.

    Two helicopters flew into the area to provide support, one of which fired across the border after twice receiving fire from the Pakistani side, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

    The Pakistani army said in a statement that its troops fired on the helicopter after it entered Pakistani airspace in the early hours of the morning. Two of its troops were injured when the helicopter returned fire, it said.

    The attack took place in the Datta Khel area of the North Waziristan tribal region. The area is a known sanctuary for Taliban and al-Qaida militants and has been targeted repeatedly by covert U.S. drone strikes.

    NATO said it was still trying to determine whether the helicopter crossed in to Pakistani airspace.

    "We're investigating the incident to determine a flight path by examining GPS waypoints in the helicopter computer, to construct a sequence of events and ultimately determine what led to the exchange of fire," said Dorrian, the NATO spokesman.

    He declined to say which coalition country was involved. But most of the helicopters that fly in that part of Afghanistan are American.

    Dorrian said NATO will work with the Pakistani government to determine what happened, saying they expect it will reflect the same good cooperation seen in recent military operations along the border. In recent weeks, NATO and Pakistan have launched coordinated offensives against militants on their respective sides of the border.

    "This is going to be transparently looked into," Dorrian said.

    The Pakistani army said it has lodged a strong protest and demanded a meeting with NATO officials to discuss the incident.

    Last September, a U.S. helicopter attack killed two Pakistani soldiers at an outpost near the Afghan border, prompting Pakistan to close a key border crossing used by NATO for 11 days. The U.S. later apologized, saying the pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents being pursued across the border from Afghanistan.

    Relations are even more tense now following the Navy SEALs raid on May 2 that killed bin Laden in Abbottabad, an army town only about 35 miles (55 kilometers) outside the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

    The Pakistani government is outraged that the U.S. carried out the operation without telling Pakistan first, and many U.S. officials have expressed disbelief that bin Laden could have lived in Abbottabad for at least five years without the authorities' knowledge. However, the U.S. has also said it has not found any evidence yet that Pakistani leaders knew of bin Laden's whereabouts.

    The helicopter attack comes a day after U.S. Sen. John Kerry wrapped up a 24-hour visit to Islamabad in which he worked to salvage the relationship with Pakistan, but also warned the government that "actions, not words" were needed to get ties back on track. Kerry was the most high-profile American to visit Pakistan since the raid on bin Laden.

    Kerry said Pakistan had agreed to immediately take several "specific steps" to improve ties, but did not say what they were. The only tangible signs of progress were a remark by Kerry that Pakistan had agreed to give America the tail of a classified stealth helicopter destroyed by U.S. commandos when it malfunctioned during the raid and an announcement that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would soon announce a trip to the country.

    But there have also been signs of Pakistan's anger.

    The Pakistani government sent the United States a written request following the bin Laden raid, asking Washington to reduce the number of American military personnel in the country, said a U.S. military official Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

    There are currently more than 200 U.S. military personnel in Pakistan, some of whom are tasked with training Pakistani troops, said the official. Pakistan has asked the U.S. to reduce the number of trainers in the country, but the official would not specify the numbers involved.

    Also Tuesday, Pakistani security forces shot and killed four would-be suicide bombers, including three women, when they tried to attack an army checkpoint in the southwestern city of Quetta, said Daood Junejo, the city police chief. A fifth suicide bomber detonated his explosives but did not injure anyone, the police chief said.

    Security forces stopped the five as they approached the checkpoint in a car, said Junejo. One of the men got out of the car and blew himself up. The other four, who were also wearing suicide vests, were shot when they tried to lob grenades, he said.

    However, local TV footage showed what appeared to be security forces shooting at two of the women as they were laying on the ground, one of them with her hand raised over her head.

    ____

    Vogt reported from Kabul, Afghanistan. Associated Press writers Sebastian Abbot in Islamabad and Abdul Sattar in Quetta, Pakistan, contributed to this report.
    Copyright 2011 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  • #2
    Darwin?

    Pakistan protests after clash with NATO helicopter
    By CHRIS BRUMMITT, Associated Press Chris Brummitt, Associated Press 7 mins ago

    ISLAMABAD – Pakistan's military said Tuesday its ground forces exchanged fire with a NATO helicopter in another possible flashpoint with Washington, but also claimed it arrested a senior al-Qaida operative following U.S. demands for "actions, not words" to restore trust.

    The two reports highlight some of the complexities of trying to rebuild ties after the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden earlier this month. Washington needs Pakistan as a crucial partner against al-Qaida, but Pakistani officials remain deeply angered by the secret operation over their borders in the assault on bin Laden.

    In a possible sign of stronger controls on the frontier, Pakistani ground forces traded fire with a NATO helicopter on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, wounding two Pakistani soldiers, officials said. The Pakistani army filed a protest, and a NATO spokesman said an "incident" occurred at the border and that an investigation would be launched.

    Pakistan's powerful army and intelligence agencies have faced uncomfortable international scrutiny since bin Laden was killed inside a fortified compound in the army town of Abbottabad.

    U.S lawmakers and other critics have said bin Laden's location was the latest — and strongest — indication that Pakistan could have been accepting U.S. aid to battle the Islamic militancy, but at the same time possibly protecting terrorists. Pakistan denies that.

    The army said it had arrested Yemeni national Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub — also known as Abu Sohaib Al Makki — who they claim had been working directly under al-Qaida leaders along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It did not say when he was arrested, but noted it was in the southern city of Karachi, where several other top al-Qaida leaders have been detained since 2001.

    An American official said the suspect was a mid-level al-Qaida operative and praised the Pakistani military. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence. There was little if any information about him in the public sphere.

    The Pakistani military said Al Makki's detention was a "major development in unraveling the al-Qaida network operating in the region."

    On Monday, U.S. Sen. John Kerry met army and civilian leaders in Pakistan during the first visit by an American emissary since bin Laden was killed. With some American lawmakers calling for U.S. aid to Pakistan to be cut, he told them that "action, not words" were needed to tackle militancy.

    The United States says it has no evidence that Pakistan's civil or military leadership knew of bin Laden's whereabouts, but it could apply more pressure for operations against Afghan Taliban factions living over the border in northwest Pakistan. Such offensives could make it easier to begin withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan in July as planned.

    Islamabad has so far refused to step up missions in the tribal areas, saying its forces are too stretched already.

    The NATO firing incident took place in the Datta Khel area of the North Waziristan tribal region, a known sanctuary for Taliban and al-Qaida militants that launch attacks inside Afghanistan as well as Pakistan. It has been targeted repeatedly by U.S. drone strikes.

    A similar event last year — that killed two Pakistani soldiers — prompted the Pakistani army to immediately close a key border crossing to NATO supplies heading from Pakistan into landlocked Afghanistan, dramatically exposing the vulnerability of the war effort.

    In Tuesday's incident, a Western military official said a NATO base in Afghanistan took intermittent fire from the Pakistani side of the border. Two helicopters flew into the area, and one fired across the border after twice taking fire from the Pakistani side, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

    The Pakistani army said in a statement that its troops fired on the helicopter after it entered Pakistani airspace. Two of its soldiers were injured when the helicopter returned fire, it said.

    NATO declined to say which coalition country was involved, but most of the helicopters that fly in that part of Afghanistan are American. The alliance said it was still trying to determine whether the helicopter crossed in to Pakistani airspace.

    "We're investigating the incident to determine a flight path by examining GPS waypoints in the helicopter computer, to construct a sequence of events and ultimately determine what led to the exchange of fire," said NATO coalition spokesman Lt. Col. John Dorrian.

    ___

    Associated Press Writers Heidi Vogt reported from Kabul, Afghanistan, Kim Dozier in Washington and Sebastian Abbot in Islamabad contributed to this report.
    Copyright 2011 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

    Comment


    • #3
      The way we over here get it as the US helo engaged in returning fire from across the border.

      The NATO firing incident took place in the Datta Khel area of the North Waziristan tribal region, a known sanctuary for Taliban and al-Qaida militants that launch attacks inside Afghanistan as well as Pakistan. It has been targeted repeatedly by U.S. drone strikes.

      A similar event last year - that killed two Pakistani soldiers - prompted the Pakistani army to immediately close a key border crossing to NATO supplies heading from Pakistan into landlocked Afghanistan, dramatically exposing the vulnerability of the war effort.

      In Tuesday's incident, a Western military official said a NATO base in Afghanistan took intermittent fire from the Pakistani side of the border. Two helicopters flew into the area, and one fired across the border after twice taking fire from the Pakistani side, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

      The Pakistani army said in a statement that its troops fired on the helicopter after it entered Pakistani airspace. Two of its soldiers were injured when the helicopter returned fire, it said.

      NATO declined to say which coalition country was involved, but most of the helicopters that fly in that part of Afghanistan are American. The alliance said it was still trying to determine whether the helicopter crossed in to Pakistani airspace.

      "We're investigating the incident to determine a flight path by examining GPS waypoints in the helicopter computer, to construct a sequence of events and ultimately determine what led to the exchange of fire," said NATO coalition spokesman Lt. Col. John Dorrian.

      iWon News - Pakistan protests after clash with NATO helicopter
      Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

      Comment


      • #4
        We'll thats not good, when we are firing on Pakistani soldiers, whom we are supposed to be allied in when we request there help. You see things like this happen, firing on Pakistani soldiers, within there own country. Even if it was an accident.
        sigpic

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dago View Post
          We'll thats not good, when we are firing on Pakistani soldiers, whom we are supposed to be allied in when we request there help. You see things like this happen, firing on Pakistani soldiers, within there own country. Even if it was an accident.
          No different then firing on NATO forces in a country that they have a mandate to be in such as Afghanistan. Pakistan is supposed to be allied with us as well. The question is did they enter Pakistan air space.
          Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

          Comment


          • #6
            This gives "friendly fire" a new meaning?

            Comment


            • #7
              NATO declined to say which coalition country was involved, but most of the helicopters that fly in that part of Afghanistan are American.
              A bit OT.

              I really hate when journalists take liberation to "give us hint". As far as I can get from the story a NATO helicopter was flying and was engaged with Pakistani soldiers after they opened fire.

              Why is it important to accent that most of the helos there are American? If it was a Dutch or a German one the crew wouldn't fire back?

              The authors have no clue if the helo was in Afg or in Pak air-space, nor to whom it belongs. To be fair the sentence could've been worse if they added some words: "but most of the helicopters that fly in that part of Afghanistan are American and they often enter into Pakistani air space."

              Also, there is no information why the helo was there.

              The people will get from this is US helo entered Pakistan and injured two PA soldiers and this will remain as a "fact".

              Proof:
              Originally posted by Dreadnought View Post
              The way we over here get it as the US helo engaged...
              No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

              To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

              Comment


              • #8
                The people will get from this is US helo entered Pakistan and injured two PA soldiers and this will remain as a "fact".

                Proof:

                Originally Posted by Dreadnought
                The way we over here get it as the US helo engaged...


                *Yep, Its a fact according to reports it was an American helo. Shit happens, why should I be concerned they will blame America anyway as usual.

                They dont even know if it was across the border and if it wasn't and they fired upon it then thats what they get but it wont change their point of view wether it was America's falt or not so why avoid the truth in the first place?

                What happens if they find that helo was on the Afghan side of the border and legally engaged in a fire fight directed at them? Bet it quickly goes away then huh?;)
                Last edited by Dreadnought; 18 May 11,, 04:57.
                Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Where exactly was the helo, why was it there (mission), why the PA shoot at it (they supposed to be friendly) is what I want to find out to judge the incident as a reader. To me it is less significant to which country it belongs, unless it has some connections with the previous questions.
                  No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

                  To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force said U.S. helicopters were in Afghanistan near Forward Operating Base Tillman when they responded to incoming direct and indirect fire from over the border in Pakistan, presumably from militants. The helicopters initially did not return fire, but when a second round of incoming fire began, they did fire in response.

                    The Pakistani military, however, said that two NATO helicopters caused the incident by violating Pakistani airspace before being fired upon by Pakistani troops.

                    More:

                    U.S. Helicopter, Pakistani Military Exchange Fire at Border - ABC News
                    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dago Reply

                      "...Even if it was an accident."

                      The only accident I see was possibly straying into Pakistan while hunting for the source of fire. If Pakistani troops fired on that aircraft and it returned fire, that was no accident.

                      Nor do I care. In point-of-fact, if the reason for the presence of those choppers was receipt of direct and indirect fire from within Pakistan then it was well within our rights to penetrate their airspace in search of those "miscreants" doing so.

                      The Pakistani army would have been better served searching for the culprits doing the initial shooting. If it was actually the P.A. then they got what was deserved in anycase.
                      "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
                      "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Can't help noticing the PR effect of this whole affair and its effect in Pakistan. Its a talking point.

                        Would this help the administration there ?

                        It seems like they are fighting back but got whacked in the process so thats not very good.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They shouldnt be engaging US Forces, they should be hunting the very same people the US is hunting in that region, namely the terrorists, where they train and where they live.

                          IMO, We should give them a list of names with a price, You have X amount of time to hunt them or dont take the aid and we will drone them or deal with them in another fashion. Either way, quit wasting time and choosing selective engagments. Enough smoke and mirrors.
                          Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dreadnought View Post
                            They shouldnt be engaging US Forces, they should be hunting the very same people the US is hunting in that region, namely the terrorists, where they train and where they live.
                            That's the the odd thing, and its not the first time its happened either.

                            A similar event last year in which two Pakistani soldiers were killed prompted Pakistan to close for over a week a key border crossing that NATO uses to ship supplies into landlocked Afghanistan.
                            It's got nothing to with the OBL affair at all, timing is coincidental.

                            Stuff happens ?

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