Photo: STR / Getty Images
NATO forces attacked two Pakistan military posts on the border with Afghanistan Saturday killing at least 25 Pakistani troops.Just recently established to help curtail Taliban raids into Afghanistan, the military posts are located about 1,000 feet apart on a mountain top and according to the AFP were quiet when hit by “unprovoked” airstrikes.
A NATO spokesman said it was likely a coalition assault that struck the posts, but is conducting an investigation to uncover further details.
The US has been walking a fine line with Pakistan since the May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, and this attack pushes crumbling US/Pakistan relations to a new low.
Already Pakistan has sealed its Afghan border to NATO forces, shutting down a crucial supply line necessary to the 130,000 US led troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. And the New York Times reports Pakistan’s supreme military commander has used the “unprovoked attacks” as reason to shut down drone operations in Pakistan, and to close two supply routes into Afghanistan.
NATO forces currently receive 40 per cent of their war-fighting supplies through the crossings that will now be closed indefinitely.
Pakistan’s response is less shocking than the attacks themselves. One senior American official working closely with NATO in the area told the NYT that “It seems quite extraordinary that we’d just nail these posts the way they say we did. “Whether they were going after people or whether there was some firing from the Afghan side of the border, then the Pakistan side, we just don’t know. It’s real murky right now. Clearly, something went very wrong.”
In comparison, NATO helicopters killed three Pakistani security guards about a year ago and Pakistan responded by shutting down one border crossing for 10 days. Even after the bin Laden raid that outraged Pakistan, it refused to halt any of the supply lines into Afghanistan.
Senior commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan Ge. John Allen said “My most sincere and personal heartfelt condolences go out the families and loved ones of any members of Pakistan security forces who may have been killed or injured.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.