US blames `communication breakdown' for attacks by Nato helicopters By Anwar Iqbal
Wednesday, 29 Sep, 2010
Hockey squad off for Commonwealth Games WASHINGTON, Sept 28: US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen called the Pakistani military leadership on Tuesday and assured them that Washington respected Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The calls, diplomatic sources said, were made after Pakistan lodged strong protests against a series of attacks by the US-led International Security Assistance Force during the last three days, and conveyed to the United States that if forces in Afghanistan continued to violate its territorial integrity it would be forced to consider appropriate response.
At Pentagon, spokesman Col Dave Lapan told journalists on Tuesday that recent cross-border air strikes by Nato helicopters in Pakistan might have violated procedures and resulted from "communication breakdowns".
"I don't know that I'd call it a disagreement but there are certainly discussions under way between our forces and the Pakistanis about this particular incident," he said.
Col Lapan said the talks were focused on "what were the communication breakdowns, what happened, what was supposed to happen".
Isaf forces were not able to notify Pakistani officers about the helicopter strikes until after the operation, he said.
"I think I can say that clearly in these instances things didn't occur in the way that they're supposed to. And that's what we're trying to get to," Col Lapan said.
Isaf said in an earlier statement that the helicopters went after insurgents in Pakistan after an Afghan security forces' outpost in the Khost province came under attack on Friday.
Diplomatic sources in Washington told Dawn that Pakistan had informed the Americans that while Islamabad was America's partner in the war against terror, "they are very sensitive to their sovereignty and territorial integrity". The Pakistanis insisted that the UN and Nato mandate for operating inside Afghanistan ended on the Afghan border and "it does not cover an inch of Pakistani territory".
The Pakistanis said that they were still investigating the three incidents to see if the helicopters fired their weapons from the Afghan territory or physically entered Pakistan.
Al Qaeda's regional chief killed Bureau Report
Wednesday, 29 Sep, 2010
Hockey squad off for Commonwealth Games PESHAWAR, Sept 28: While four suspected militants were killed in a US drone attack in South Waziristan on Tuesday, a senior Al Qaeda `commander' for Pakistan and Afghanistan was believed to have been killed in North Waziristan in an air strike a few days ago.
Security sources said they had received credible reports about the death of Sheikh Abdul Raziq, popularly known as Sheikh Al Fateh Al Misri. He was said to be Al Qaeda's `operations commander'.
He was killed when a pilotless plane fired missiles on a vehicle reportedly carrying him and his three associates in Doga Macha Madakhel area on Saturday.
He had taken over from Mustapha Abu Yazid Al Misri who was killed in a drone attack in May in North Waziristan.
Tuesday's attack in Zebae village of South Waziristan destroyed house believed to be used by militants.
Security officials said two missiles had been fired in the attack.
Agencies add: There have been 21 strikes by the remotely piloted drones in September, the highest number in a month on record.
"We are not surprised at this surge because we knew that as Americans build up their presence in Afghanistan, they will intensify pressure on militants on both sides of the border and these attacks are part of the same strategy," a security official said.
3 drone strikes in N. Waziristan; 12 killed
By Our Correspondent
Monday, 27 Sep, 2010
MIRAMSHAH, Sept 26: US drones carried out three attacks in North Waziristan on Sunday, killing 12 people, sources said. Vehicles were targeted in the strikes.
Three missiles hit a double-cabin pick-up on Dermano Road in Lowara Mandai area near the Afghan border, the sources said, adding that four people travelling in the vehicle were killed.
A jeep was attacked near Dand Kali area with two missiles, witnesses said. Five people were killed.
Three people were killed when missiles targeted a car in Sherani area.
The identity of those killed could not be ascertained, the sources said, adding that foreigners were among the dead.
AP adds: The US is now suspected of conducting 19 such attacks this month – the most intense barrage since the strikes began in 2004.
Most have targeted Datta Khel, part of the North Waziristan tribal area that is dominated by militants who the West believes regularly stage attacks against Nato troops in Afghanistan.
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