Pakistan rejects US probe findings on airstrikes

Pakistan rejects US probe findings on airstrikes

Pakistan Friday rejected the findings of a US report that held its forces partly responsible for deadly attacks on a border post last month that killed 24 soldiers, DPA reported.

"Pakistan army does not agree with the findings of the US/NATO inquiry as being reported in the media. The inquiry report is short on facts," military spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas, said.

He said that a detailed response would be given after the investigation by the United States is formally shared with Pakistan.

The United States and NATO on Thursday said that Pakistan shared responsibility for the NATO airstrike, saying that their troops faced "intense" gunfire from Pakistani soldiers first.

They also said that both sides also made coordination "mistakes," like relying on "incorrect mapping information" and failing to share information about the movements of each other's military units.

"There was no intentional effort to target persons or places known to be part of the Pakistani military," the US Defence Department said in a statement. "For the loss of life - and for the lack of proper coordination between US and Pakistani forces ... we express our deepest regret."

The November 26 airstrike on two Pakistani posts along the Afghan border, in the Mohmand tribal district, further damaged US relations with Pakistan, which were already strained due to the killing of Osama bin Laden in a covert US action in May.

Pakistan closed NATO supply routes running through the country to landlocked Afghanistan and told the US to vacate an airbase used to fly drones.

The Pakistani military has maintained that NATO launched an unprovoked attack on the posts which were clearly pointed out to them in map references. It also demanded an apology for the attack

Major General Ashfaq Nadeem, the director general of military operations, this month termed the airstrikes as a "pre-planned conspiracy."

NATO, which leads the International Security Assistance Force in neighbouring Afghanistan, said its forces were only responding to fire from inside Pakistan.

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