Pakistan closes border to Nato supplies after air strike deaths

 

Pakistan state TV reported that 25 soldiers were killed late last night in an alleged Nato helicopter attack on a Pakistani army checkpoint near the Afghan border.

The Pakistan military has blamed Nato helicopters for the attack on the checkpoint in the Mohmand tribal area and a key Afghan border crossing was later closed to Nato supplies in retaliation for the strike.

A customs official said that he received verbal orders to stop all Nato supplies from moving across the border through the Torkham crossing.

The operator of the border terminal where Nato supply trucks park before getting clearance to cross said the vehicles had been stopped since this morning.

Nato officials in Kabul said they were aware of the incident, and would release more information after they were able to gather more facts about what happened.

The incident came a little over a year after US helicopters accidentally killed two Pakistani soldiers near the border, whom the pilots mistook for insurgents they were pursuing. Pakistan responded by closing a key border crossing on a Nato supply route to Afghanistan for 10 days until the US apologised.

In a statement sent to reporters, the Pakistan military blamed Nato for the attack in the Mohmand tribal area, saying the helicopters "carried out unprovoked and indiscriminate firing". It said casualties have been reported but details were still coming.

The governor of Pakistan's north west Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province criticised the incident, calling it "an attack on Pakistani sovereignty."

The checkpoint that was attacked had been recently set up in Salala village by the army to stop Pakistani Taliban militants holed up in Afghanistan from crossing the border and staging attacks, said two government administrators in Mohmand, Maqsood Hasan and Hamid Khan.

The military has blamed Pakistani Taliban militants and their allies for killing dozens of security forces in such cross-border attacks since the summer.

Pakistan has criticised Afghan and foreign forces for not doing enough to stop the attacks, which it says have originated from the eastern Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. The US has largely pulled out of these provinces, leaving the militants in effective control of many areas along the border.

The Afghan-Pakistan border is a constant flashpoint, with both nations and the US exchanging accusations of violations and of negligence in preventing cross-border attacks.

The US and Afghan governments have long accused Pakistan of not doing enough to prevent its territory from being used by Afghan Taliban militants and their allies to stage attacks against forces in Afghanistan.

The Afghan government blamed Pakistan for firing hundreds of rockets into eastern Afghanistan earlier this year that killed dozens of people. The Pakistan army has denied it intentionally fired rockets into Afghanistan, but acknowledged that several rounds fired at militants conducting cross-border attacks may have landed over the border.

The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban are allies but have largely focused their attacks on opposite sides of the border. The Afghan Taliban aims to topple the US-allied government in Kabul, and the Pakistani Taliban has tried to do the same in Islamabad.

Frustration about cross-border attacks in both directions has contributed to deteriorating ties between the US and Pakistan. The relationship took an especially hard hit from the covert US commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison town on May 2.

AP

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

MI Analyst and SQL Developer (SQL, SSAS, SSRS)

£28000 - £32500 Per Annum + 28 days holiday, pension, discounts and more: Clea...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

Systems & Data Lead – Oxfordshire – Permanent – Up to £24k

£20000 - £24000 Per Annum 28 days holiday, free parking, pension: Clearwater P...

Digital Media Manager

£38000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?