Islamabad: The US on Monday described as
"baseless" reports in a section of the Pakistani media
suggesting that troops from the unit that conducted the raid
against Osama bin Laden may have been deliberately killed in a
helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
"Some Pakistani media outlets have insinuated the United
States killed its own troops in the tragic helicopter crash in
Afghanistan to prevent the `truth` about the death of Osama
bin Laden from coming out," US Embassy spokesman Alberto
Rodriguez said in a statement.
"These reports are baseless. We are deeply disappointed
that Pakistani media would publish such patently false
allegations and call on responsible media to accurately report
the facts," he said.
Noting that the US government had "repeatedly honoured the
loss of Pakistani lives in terrorist attacks", Rodriguez said
the two countries "share a common interest in standing
together against extremists and terrorists".
The US government is investigating the incident in which a
Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan over the weekend,
killing eight Afghans and 30 American troops, including Navy
SEALs from the unit that had carried out the raid which
resulted in the killing of bin Laden in the Pakistani city of
Abbottabad on May 2.
"Further information will be provided when the
investigation is complete," Rodriguez said.
Though US officials had made it clear that none of the
commandos who carried out the raid against bin Laden were
killed in the crash, The News daily carried a report on its
front page yesterday that claimed the incident had "given rise
to a number of questions".
The newspaper quoted a report purportedly carried by an
Indian TV channel to say that the presence of "25 SEALs in the
same helicopter has astonished everyone".
The daily claimed that 20 of the SEALs were those who had
participated in the operation to kill bin Laden.
"The only proof of the death of Osama bin Laden were the
20 Navy SEALs reportedly on board this helicopter and all of
them died. Thus all proof of the death of Osama bin Laden have
disappeared," the daily claimed.
"In the past too there have been incidents that
eyewitnesses of US operations and their confidants have been
killed in accidents," it further said.