Several security personnel were killed in an alleged NATO raid on a Pakistan border post on the Afghan frontier.
The death toll is at least 12, Kifayat Durrani, a spokesman for the tribal region in Peshawar, said today by telephone. The GEO TV broadcaster cited the military as putting the number of dead at 20.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s International Security Assistance Force said it was “aware” of an “incident” in the area.
The helicopter attack happened yesterday in the northwest Mohmand tribal area and involved “unprovoked and indiscriminate firing,” the Associated Press said, citing a Pakistan military statement.
“ISAF is aware that there was an incident in the border region and at this time we are currently gathering details and information,” spokesman Lt. Commander Brian Badura said in a phone interview today in Kabul, Afghanistan.
In September 2010, U.S. forces attacked into the border districts of Kurram and North Waziristan, killing what Pakistan said were several of members of its paramilitary Frontier Corps, which guards much of the border.
That prompted Pakistan to close its frontier for 10 days to U.S. and NATO military supplies being trucked from its port of Karachi into Afghanistan. Pakistan re-opened the border after talks with U.S. Officials and a NATO apology for the attacks.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani “strongly condemned” yesterday’s incident and directed that the matter be taken up by the Foreign Ministry “in the strongest terms” with NATO and the U.S., his spokesman said in an e-mailed statement today.
The incident “has my highest personal attention and my commitment to thoroughly investigate it to determine the facts,” ISAF commander Gen. John R. Allen said in an e-mailed statement. “My most sincere and personal heartfelt condolences go out to the families and loved ones of any members of Pakistan Security Forces who may have been killed or injured.”
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