Three Nato helicopters flew inside Pakistani territory in Lower Kurram Agency on Tuesday, violating the country’s airspace for the third time.
According to officials, the incident occurred at around 5:00 pm. The Nato helicopters entered up to 600 metres inside Pakistan, including the areas of Borki, Kharlaki and Kurram and hovered in Pakistani airspace for 20 minutes. These areas lie close to the Afghan border.
Officials said that the flight of Nato helicopters spread panic among the locals, who remained inside their houses fearing bombing of the area. A military official told The Express Tribune that it was not an airspace violation, adding that the helicopters were dumping supplies at a check post close to the border – which the authorities were aware of.
Earlier, on September 30, two Nato helicopters opened fire on a border post in the Kurram Agency, killing three paramilitary soldiers and injuring three others. Pakistan had closed the border with Afghanistan after the incident, halting Nato supplies going through the country. The supply line was restored more than a week after the US tendered an official apology for the cross-border attack on security forces.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2010.