NATO chief regrets killing of Pak soldiers

Last Updated: Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 18:16

Berlin: NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen
on Sunday expressed his regret to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani for the "tragic unintended" killing of 24 Pakistani
soldiers in an air strike along its border with Afghanistan.

"I have written to the Prime Minister of Pakistan to make
it clear that the deaths of Pakistani personnel are as
unacceptable and deplorable as the deaths of Afghan and
international personnel," he said in a statement.

"I offer my deepest condolences and sympathy to the
families of the Pakistani officers and soldiers who lost their
lives or were injured, and to the government and people of
Pakistan, following the regrettable incident along the
Afghan-Pakistani border," Rasmussen added.

NATO helicopters and combat aircraft attacked two
Pakistani military border posts in the restive Mohmand tribal
region at 2 am yesterday, killing 24 soldiers.

Pakistan strongly reacted to the incident and told the US
that the "senseless" attack negated progress in improving ties
and forced it to revisit terms of engagement.

However, the NATO chief said the coalition remains
strongly committed to work with Pakistan to improve
cooperation to avoid such tragedies in the future.

"This was a tragic unintended incident. I fully support
the ISAF investigation which is currently underway. We will
determine what happened, and draw the right lessons," he said.

Rasmussen`s remarks came a day after Pakistan`s Defence
Committee of the Cabinet decided to "close with immediate
effect the NATO/ISAF logistics supply lines".

PTI



First Published: Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 18:16

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