Taliban may have lured US into attack on Pakistan

AP/Washington Times:
 NATO forces may have been lured into attacking friendly Pakistani border posts in a calculated maneuver by the Taliban, according to preliminary U.S. military reports on the deadliest friendly-fire incident with Pakistan since the Afghanistan war began.
The NATO airstrike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers over the weekend in an apparent case of mistaken identity, the Associated Press has learned.
A joint U.S.-Afghan patrol was attacked by the Taliban early Saturday morning. While pursuing the enemy in the poorly marked border area, the patrol seems to have mistaken one of the Pakistan troop outposts for a militant encampment and called in a NATO gunship and attack helicopters to open fire.
U.S. officials say the reports suggest the Taliban may have deliberately tried to provoke a cross-border firefight that would set back fragile partnerships between the U.S. and NATO forces and Pakistani soldiers at the ill-defined border. Officials described the records on condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters.
The incident has sent the perpetually difficult U.S.-Pakistan relationship into a tailspin.
On Tuesday, Pakistani Gen. Ashfaq Nadeem called the incident a “deliberate act of aggression” and said it was “next to impossible thatNATO” did not know it was attacking Pakistani forces.
Gen. Nadeem's words are irresponsible.  He has no way of knowing what he is suggesting.  If he does he should present the evidence.  But the suggestion is totally illogical.  What would the US have to gain by deliberately hitting a Pakistan troop position?  The answer is clearly nothing.  Pakistan needs to take a breath and get the facts before it flies off the handle.


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