Published on Monday, November 28, 2011 by the Associated Press
NATO Ignored Pleas to Hold Off Airstrikes That Killed 24 Soldiers:
by Chris Brummitt
Unnamed Afghan officials have said that Afghan commandos and
Ties between Pakistan and the United States were already deteriorating before the deadly attack and have sunk to new lows since, delivering a major setback to American hopes of enlisting Islamabad's help in negotiating an end to the 10-year-old Afghan war.
Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said the Pakistani troops at two border posts were the victims of an unprovoked aggression. He said the attack lasted almost two hours and that commanders had contacted NATO counterparts while it was going on, asking "they get this fire to cease, but somehow it continued."
The poorly defined, mountainous border has been a constant source of tension between
Saturday's strikes have added to popular anger in
By claiming it was the victim of unprovoked aggression, the
Saturday's deadly incident also serves to shift attention away from the dominant perception of the Pakistani army in the West over the last five years — that of an unreliable ally that supports militancy. That image was cemented after al-Qaida's chief Osama bin Laden was found to have been hiding in an army town close to the Pakistani capital when he was killed.
For Pakistan's weak and much criticized elected government, Saturday's airstrikes provide a rare opportunity to unite the country and a momentary relief from attack by rivals eyeing elections in 2013 or sooner.
By contrast, deaths of soldiers and civilians in attacks by militants, some with alleged links to the country's spy agencies, are often greeted with official silence.
"At this point, NATO and
Abbas said the two military posts, named "Volcano" and "Golden," were located on a ridge in Mohmand region around 300 yards (meters) from the border with
Hours after the attack on Saturday,
However, a complete breakdown in the relationship between the
After the bin Laden raid, ties almost collapsed but slowly resumed, albeit at a lower level and with lower expectations on the American side.
A year ago, a
© 2011 Associated Press
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs