Nato Attack On Pakistani Army Border - Oddetorium

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Saturday, 3 December 2011

Nato Attack On Pakistani Army Border

Nato Attack On Pakistani Army Border
These are the first pictures of the lethal devastation wrought on remote Pakistani army border posts by a strike by Nato helicopters gunships and warplanes last weekend. The pictures, released by the Pakistani military yesterday, come as anger mounts in the country over the attacks, which killed 24 soldiers. A senior Pakistani army officer has accused Nato of a deliberate, blatant act of aggression, hardening Pakistan's stance on an incident that could hurt efforts to stabilise Afghanistan.

This handout photograph taken on November 26, 2011 and released by the Pakistani military yesterday shows the Pakistani border post struck by a cross-border Nato air strike in the Mohmand tribal district
Already furious politicians in Islamabad have responded by pulling their country out of an international conference in Germany next week on Afghanistan's future. They have also cut vital supply lines through Pakistan to Nato troops fighting in Afghanistan, and ordered U.S. forces out of a base that had been used to launch drone attacks.
Continuing that angry tone, Major General Ishfaq Nadeem, director general of military operations, said Nato forces were alerted they were attacking Pakistani posts but helicopters kept firing.
His comments were carried in local newspapers on Wednesday that characterized the attack as blatant aggression.
'Detailed information of the posts was already with ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), including map references, and it was impossible that they did not know these to be our posts,' The News quoted Nadeem as saying at an editors' briefing held at army headquarters on Tuesday.

Another view of the still-smouldering border posts, where 24 Pakistani servicemen lost their lives
Nato helicopters and fighter jets bombarded the two military border posts in north-west Pakistan on Saturday in the worst incident of its kind since the beginning of the Afghanistan war. The helicopters appeared near the post around 15 to 20 minutes past midnight, opened fire, then left about 45 minutes later, Major General Nadeem was quoted as saying. They reappeared at 0115 local time and attacked again for another hour, he said. Major General Nadeem said that, minutes before the first attack, a U.S. sergeant on duty at a communications centre in Afghanistan told a Pakistani major that Nato special forces were receiving indirect fire from a location 15km (9 miles) from the posts. The Pakistanis said they needed time to check and asked for coordinates. Nadeem said the unidentified sergeant called back to say 'your ... post has been hit.'
Nadeem concluded that meant Nato knew the locations of the Pakistani posts before attacking, said The News

Salute: Pakistani soldiers march among the rows of coffins during a funeral for the 24 servicemen killed in the attacks
The army released a video to the media showing what it said were the Pakistani border posts -- rough constructions of large stones, corrugated metal and canvas in isolated positions. Filmed from a helicopter, it also showed foxholes and what appeared to be a mortar emplacement surrounded by rocks. Foreign policy analysts say the Pakistani military is likely to take advantage of widespread outrage over the attacks to press its interests in any future peace talks on Afghanistan.

Student protesters shout anti-American slogans during a protest in Peshawar. There is widespread anger across Pakistan following the air-strikes

The army is well aware that many Pakistanis believe the war on militancy their country joined has only served U.S. interests while thousands of Pakistani soldiers have died fighting. More than 1,000 Pakistani religious students protested in Lahore city, yelling 'Death to NATO' and 'Death to America.' 'If NATO and America do something like this again, we are going to turn Pakistan into their graveyard,' said 23-year-old university student Zahoor Ahmad. In the financial hub Karachi, women and children were among about 2,000 protesters. 'The government should end all relations with the United States,' said Khadija Subzwari, a mother of four.  In Multan, protesters burned an effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama and an American flag. In the town of Dera Ismail Khan, social worker Umar Mehsud, 28, echoed the thoughts of many furious Pakistanis.'Our leaders are asleep, oblivious to the problems of the people. It is sad and worrying that we are being bombed by a country which calls us a major ally,' he said.While officials on either side of the border disagree on the circumstances of the incident, it is possible that a retaliatory attack by NATO troops took a tragic, mistaken turn in harsh terrain where differentiating friend from foe can be difficult.But Mjor General Nadeem was adamant Nato had been told it was attacking Pakistani positions. 'They continued regardless, with impunity,' The News quoted him as saying.


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