Saturday, 26 November 2011

Pakistan Stops NATO Supplies In Response To Murder Of 25 Pak Soldiers By NATO

Pakistani authorities blocked the vital supply route for Nato troops fighting in Afghanistan on Saturday after a cross-border air strike killed 25 Pakistani troops, local officials said.

Trucks and fuel tankers were stopped at Jamrud town in the Khyber tribal region near the city of Peshawar, hours after the raid, officials said.

“We have halted the supplies and some 40 tankers and trucks have been returned from the check post in Jamrud,” Mutahir Zeb, a senior government official, told Reuters.

Another official said the supplies had been stopped for security reasons.

Nato helicopters from Afghanistan intruded into northwest Pakistan and attacked a military check post near the border, killing up to 25 troops and wounding 14, Pakistani military officials said.

A senior Pakistani military officer said efforts were under way to bring the bodies to the headquarters of Mohmand tribal region from their post.

The attack would have serious repercussions as they without any reason attacked on our post and killed soldiers asleep, a senior military officer said.

The attack took place around 2 a.m. in the Baizai area of Mohmand, where Pakistani troops are fighting Taliban militants.

Pakistani security and military officials in Mohmand said an army major was among the dead.

A spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul said the coalition there was aware of “an incident” and was gathering more information.

The incident occurred a day after US General John Allen met Pakistani Army Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani to discuss border control and enhanced cooperation.

The Afghanistan-Pakistan border is often poorly marked, and differs from maps by up to five miles in some places.

A similar incident on September 30, 2010, which killed two Pakistani troops, led to the closure of one of Nato’s supply routes through Pakistan for 10 days.

Nato apologised for that incident, which it said happened when Nato gunships mistook warning shots by the Pakistani forces for a militant attack.

Pakistan is a vital land route for 49 per cent of Nato’s supplies to its troops in Afghanistan, a Nato spokesman said.