NATO helicopters violate Pakistan’s airspace

Published: May 31, 2011

A file photo of a Nato-led coalition soldier firing during an operation against militants. PHOTO: REUTERS

A file photo of a Nato-led coalition soldier firing during an operation against militants. PHOTO: REUTERS Five ‘members’ of Haqqani network detained; US embassy rejects report .

Air-borne troops from the US-led Nato forces intruded into the North Waziristan tribal region on Monday in pursuit of militants and took into custody five suspected militants from the Haqqani network.

The Haqqani network – the deadliest of all Taliban factions – has been blamed by the United States for most of the attacks against Nato troops in Afghanistan.

According to media reports, Nato helicopters violated Pakistan’s airspace in “hot pursuit’” landed in the mountainous area of Gorveet in North Waziristan and took into custody five suspected members of the Haqqani network.

The political agent of North Waziristan confirmed the incident and the arrests. Locals said that fear gripped the area following the incident.

In Islamabad, the US embassy rejected the report of Pakistan’s airspace violation by Nato helicopters as “false”. The spokesperson said the US embassy has checked with authorities from the International Security and Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan that they have confirmed that no such incident took place in North Waziristan.

Meanwhile, a young girl was killed and eight others were wounded in a bomb attack at a hotel in North Waziristan, officials said.

The blast occurred at the 12-room Super Waziristan Hotel in Miramshah, the main town of the tribal region.

“An improvised explosive device (IED) that was planted in one of the rooms went off, initially wounding nine people,” an intelligence official told AFP, on condition of anonymity.

Another official confirmed the incident and said a girl died of her wounds after reaching the hospital.

However, according to APP the bomb was planted on the rooftop of Qadria Hotel in the main bazaar of Miramshah and injured 10 persons, including three women and four children. The hotel building was slightly damaged.

Security forces and the political administration rushed to the location soon after the blast and started a search operation.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2011.

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