American troops have been evicted from a Pakistani drone base and main supply lines have been cut off after yesterday's NATO attack that left 24 Pakistan soldiers dead, but details over what exactly happened are still murky. A NATO airstrike was called in at around 2 a.m. Saturday morning that resulted in a least 24 Pakistan soldiers being killed, and another 25 injured.
American troops have been given a 15-day eviction notice to leave an airbase in Pakistan that Americans have used for coordinating drone attacks in Afganistan in the past, The Guardian reports. Officials in Pakistan held an emergency meeting Saturday night to discuss the ramifications of the attack, which they've labeled as a "deliberate" strike against Pakistan's military. Supply lines to US troops in Afganistan have also been cut off.
Protestors gathered outside of the American embassy in Pakistan to chant, "stay away Americans, Pakistan is ours, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our army," AFP reports.
NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called the attacks, "unacceptable and deplorable," in a statement. "This was a tragic unintended incident." Pakistan's Foreign Minister has expressed a "deep sense of rage" over the incident. The Obama administration has already ordered a full investigation into the incident.
Relations between the U.S. and Pakistan have been tense since the very beginning of the year. The Afganistan border saw trouble as recently as the end of October, when American forces were engaged in a firefight, but weren't sure if they were shooting insurgents or members of Pakistan's military.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Afghan and U.S. officials are both saying they were fired on from one of Pakistan's military bases.
Two Afghan officials working in the border area where the attack took place said Sunday that the joint force was targeting Taliban forces in the area when it received fire from a Pakistan military outpost. That prompted the coalition force to call for an air attack on the Pakistani posts, said an Afghan Border Police official in the area. Pakistani officials were informed of the operation before it took place, he said.
One possibility offered to the WSJ from a U.S. official was that insurgents positioned themselves directly against one of Pakistan's military bases and opened fire, so when NATO forces retaliated Pakistan security forces were also hit.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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