NATO Apologizes to Pakistan for Border-Breaching Attack
Posted on Oct 6, 2010
The Sept. 30 incident in which NATO aircraft fired across the border of Pakistan, killing two Pakistani soldiers, has not been forgotten in that country, and the fiery retaliatory strikes that have ensued compelled the American ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, to apologize Wednesday. —KA
Los Angeles Times:
The government’s decision to shut down a border crossing used by trucks and tankers ferrying fuel and supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan has created a massive logjam that Islamic militants have exploited with devastating ferocity.
Since Islamabad ordered the closure of the Torkham border crossing in retaliation for a missile strike that killed two Pakistani soldiers, dozens of fuel tankers have been torched across the country. In some of the attacks, militants rode up on motorcycles to clusters of poorly guarded tankers and firebombed the vehicles, filling the sky with massive plumes of flames and black smoke.
Militants have carried out seven attacks on tankers and trucks with supplies for North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in the past seven days, destroying or damaging more than 90 vehicles and killing at least six people.
U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson apologized to Pakistan on Wednesday for the Sept. 30 NATO helicopter incursion that led to the soldiers’ deaths, prompting analysts to predict Islamabad may soon reopen the crossing.
AP / Mohammad Sajjad
A Pakistani firefighter looks at burning trucks allegedly attacked by militants in Nowshera near Peshawar, Pakistan, on Wednesday.