KURRAM AGENCY: Nato said Thursday it was investigating claims by Pakistani security officials that three of their soldiers were killed in a cross-border attack by coalition helicopters based in Afghanistan.
“Early this morning, a coalition force observed what they believed was a group of insurgents attempting to fire mortars at a coalition base in the border area of Dand Patan district, Paktiya province,” Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in statement to AFP.
“A coalition air weapons team was called for fire support and engaged the insurgents,” it said. “The team reported they did not cross into Pakistan airspace and believed the insurgent location was on the Afghan side of the border.”
After being informed by Pakistan military officials that their border forces had been hit, ISAF said it was working with the Pakistanis “to ascertain if the two events are linked”.
“The matter remains under investigation,” it said.
Pakistani security officials said the incident took place in Mandato Kandaho village northwest of Parachinar, the main town of Kurram district close to the Afghan border in Pakistan’s tribal belt.
Nato helicopters strike security check post in Kurram
Three Pakistani security personnel have been killed and three have been injured in an attack by Nato–led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) helicopters on a checkpoint in Kurram Agency.
Reports coming out of the area say Nato targeted the checkpoint in Mandato Kandaho, which is about five kilometres inside Pakistan.
AFP quotes a senior security official as saying it was an unprovoked attack that took place early morning. He said Nato helicopters entered Pakistani airspace and targeted a paramilitary checkpost killing three soldiers and wounding three others.
This is the third time in a week that Nato helicopters have violated Pakistani airspace.
Islamabad has protested against the violations on two occasions. A protest against this recent attack is yet to be seen.
Earlier in 2008, an American jet bombed a Pakistani checkpoint in Mohmand Agency killing 11 Pakistani soldiers. The attack caused outrage across Pakistan.