Pakistan Rejects US Probe Into Deadly Border Attack

Posted January 23rd, 2012 at 4:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Pakistan's military has formally rejected the findings of a U.S. inquiry into last year's NATO air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border.

The military said it does not agree with a U.S. claim that American forces acted in self-defense and with appropriate force after being fired upon. It said that trying to affix partial responsibility for the incident on Pakistan is “factually incorrect, unjustified and unacceptable.”

U.S. defense officials blamed inadequate coordination by both Pakistani and U.S.-led forces for the November 26 attack and said Monday they stood “100 percent” behind the investigation. Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby noted that Pakistan declined to participate in the U.S. probe.

Pakistan called the NATO strike unprovoked and said that the fundamental cause of the incident was the failure of the coalition “to share its near-border operation with Pakistan at any level.”

The government responded to the attack by shutting down NATO's two main Pakistani supply routes into Afghanistan and ordering U.S. personnel to evacuate an air base in Baluchistan province within two weeks.

The border attack brought U.S.-Pakistan relations to a new low point, with ties already strained over the killing of Osama bin Laden last May in northern Pakistan and a number of U.S. drone strikes targeting militants in the tribal areas in country's northwest.

In the latest strike, Pakistani officials said missiles fired by a U.S. drone hit a vehicle and a house Monday in North Waziristan, killing four militants from Turkmenistan.