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Sep 26th, 2008

U.S., Pakistani Troops Exchange Fire

September 25, 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. and Pakistani ground forces exchanged fire across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border on Thursday, the latest in a string of incidents that has ratcheted up diplomatic tension between the two allies.

No casualties or injuries were reported after Pakistani forces shot at two U.S. helicopters from a Pakistani border post. U.S. and Pakistani officials clashed over whether the American helicopters had entered Pakistan. …

“Just as we will not let Pakistan’s territory be used by terrorists for attacks against our people and our neighbors, we cannot allow our territory and our sovereignty to be violated by our friends,” Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said in New York on Thursday.

But in Washington, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman insisted the helicopters had not entered Pakistan. He described the incident as “troubling” and called on Islamabad for an explanation. …

According to Pakistan’s military, its soldiers fired warning shots at two U.S. helicopters after they intruded into Pakistani airspace. The U.S. military said the helicopters were protecting a patrol about one mile inside Afghanistan when Pakistani forces opened fire.

“The (helicopters) did not return fire but the ground forces fired suppressive fire at that outpost. The Pakistani forces then returned that fire. The whole exchange lasted about five minutes,” said an official with U.S. Central Command, which oversees American military operations in Afghanistan. …


Pakistan Leader Condemns Attacks from ‘Friends’

September 25, 2008

NEW YORK — Angered by U.S. raids into Pakistan in search of terrorists, Pakistan’s new president warned Thursday that his country cannot allow its territory to “be violated by our friends.”

After placing a picture of his assassinated wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, on the podium, President Asif Ali Zardari told world leaders that such attacks strengthen the extremists the United States and others are trying to destroy.

His speech at the U.N. General Assembly, which often emotionally described Pakistan’s battle against terrorists, comes at a tense moment in U.S.-Pakistan relations. …

“Unilateral actions of great powers should not inflame the passions of allies,” he said. …

Pakistani soldiers fired at U.S. reconnaissance helicopters along the Pakistan-Afghan border Thursday, officials said, sparking a ground battle between American and Pakistani soldiers. …

Nuclear-armed Pakistan is deemed crucial to U.S.-led efforts to battle extremists in South Asia. …


9/28/11 Update

Pakistanis tied to 2007 border attack on Americans (Carlotta Gall, New York Times, Sept. 27, 2011) — A group of American military officers and Afghan officials had just finished a five-hour meeting with their Pakistani hosts in a village schoolhouse settling a border dispute when they were ambushed — by the Pakistanis. An American major was killed and three American officers were wounded, along with their Afghan interpreter. … The Pakistanis opened fire on the Americans, who returned fire before escaping in a blood-soaked Black Hawk helicopter. The attack, in Teri Mangal on May 14, 2007, was kept quiet by Washington, which for much of a decade has seemed to play down or ignore signals that Pakistan would pursue its own interests, or even sometimes behave as an enemy. … Full story

Related announcement

Army Maj. Larry J. Bauguess Jr., 36, Moravian Falls, N.C., died May 14, 2007 in Teri Mengel, Pakistan, of wounds sustained from enemy small-arms fire. He was assigned to the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.



U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq

As of Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008, at least 4,173 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. …

Latest identification:

Army 1st Lt. Thomas J. Brown, 26, Burke, Va., died died Sept. 23, 2008 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his patrol came under small-arms fire during dismounted operations in Salman Pak. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.


Security Developments in Iraq

Following are security developments in Iraq on Thursday, Sept. 25, as reported by Reuters.

MOSUL – Three insurgents from the al Qaeda-linked group the Islamic State of Iraq killed themselves when police raided their house in Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said. They included an Iraqi man, Malik Mohammed al-Jabouri, who Askari said was a senior commander of the group in Mosul. They died when a Saudi Arabian fighter among the three detonated his suicide vest.

SINJAR – The Iraqi army killed three gunmen in the district of Sinjar on Thursday, 240 miles northwest of Baghdad, Brigadier-General Khalid Abdul Sattar, the spokesman for Iraqi military operations in Nineveh province said.

BAQUBA – A suicide bomber killed a U.S. soldier while conducting operations in Baquba, 40 miles northeast of Baghdad, on Wednesday, the U.S military said.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb wounded six people, including a soldier, in the Zafaraniya district of southeast Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – Gunmen killed a civil servant in a drive-by shooting in southeast Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb near a police patrol wounded at least three civilians in eastern Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – One civilian was killed and three others wounded when gunmen attacked a police patrol with rocket-propelled grenades in western Mosul, police said.

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