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PAKISTAN TROOPS KILLED BY US

Two Pakistani army soldiers were killed and another injured when US troops mistakenly fired on a patrol near the Afghan border.

Pakistan said a strong protest was being lodged with US authorities.
Last Updated: 18:49 UK, Monday August 11, 2003

PAKISTAN TROOPS KILLED BY US

Two Pakistani army soldiers were killed and another injured when US troops mistakenly fired on a patrol near the Afghan border.

Pakistan said it would lodge a "strong protest" with the US following the blunder in the northwestern tribal area of Waziristan.


A statement from the Pakistani authorities described the deaths, near the Imal Khel post, as an "unfortunate incident".

But it added a strong protest was being lodged with US authorities.

It is the first time Pakistani soldiers have been killed by US fire since Pakistan became a key ally in the 20-month old America-led war against terrorism.

Coalition forces are hunting down Taliban and al-Qaeda suspects, mainly along the 1,500-mile Afghan-Pakistan border.

North Waziristan borders the troubled eastern Afghan provinces of Paktia and Khost where former Taliban fighters and guerrillas are engaged in a campaign against US and Afghan troops.

Coalition officials believe rebel fighters are operating out of remote mountains along Pakistan's tribal borderlands, where there is strong support for the ousted Taliban regime.

Pakistan has provided America and its allies with at least three bases for the campaign in Afghanistan.

It says it has captured around 500 suspects of Osama bin Laden's terrorist group al-Qaeda since forces ousted the Taliban regime in late 2001.

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