Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Pakistan protests to US over border raid deaths

The US ambassador to Pakistan has been asked to explain a raid which officials said killed 20 people.

ISLAMABAD // An angry Pakistan has summoned the US ambassador to protest against a raid on a Pakistani border village in which officials said killed 20 people, including women and children. Yesterday's predawn helicopter ground assault on Angor Adda in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border, was the first known incursion into Pakistan by the US-led troops since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

The United States says al Qa'eda and Taliban militants are based in sanctuaries in north-west Pakistan's ethnic Pashtun tribal areas on the Afghan border, where they orchestrate attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and plot violence in the West. While Pakistan is a US ally in the unpopular campaign against terrorism, it rules out incursions by foreign troops into its territory. There have, however, been numerous missile strikes on militants in Pakistan, most believed launched by US-operated pilotless drone aircraft.

The US ambassador, Anne Patterson, was summoned to Pakistan's foreign ministry yesterday after the country strongly condemned the raid as a gross violation of Pakistani territory that could undermine security co-operation, a ministry spokesman said. "She said she would convey our concerns and the protest of the government of Pakistan to her government," said ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq. A US embassy spokesman declined to comment. While there is little, if any, doubt the raid was carried out by US troops, it was not clear which Afghan-based force they came from. Nato, which commands an Afghan peacekeeping force known as the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), denied any involvement. "I don't know if four helicopters crossed the border. I don't know whose helicopters they would be, but they were not Nato or Isaf," said Nato spokesman James Appathurai. "I don't have any more information; there has been no Nato or Isaf involvement in crossing the border into Pakistan." The United States leads a separate coalition force in Afghanistan that focuses on counterinsurgency operations. Asked about the raid, the Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, said: "I have nothing for you on those reports." The CIA referred all questions to the Pentagon. Since the emergence of a civilian-led government in Pakistan after February elections, there has been mounting concern that US military operations were becoming more aggressive in the tribal lands bordering Afghanistan. The number of missile attacks launched by drone aircraft have multiplied, and there have been fears US forces would use helicopter gunships or put troops on the ground for "hot pursuit" or commando-style raids to destroy al Qa'eda nests. A spokesman for the Pakistani Embassy in Washington said the force that conducted the raid was acting on faulty intelligence that was never shared with Pakistani forces. "The intelligence was not correct and the people who have been killed are unarmed civilians, not militants, and those include women and children," said the spokesman, Nadeem Kiani. * Reuters

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National