US Apologizes to Pakistan for Errant Strike

Move could pave way for reopening of supply route
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 6, 2010 2:32 PM CDT
Afghanistan-bound NATO vehicles are parked at Pakistani border town of Torkham on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010.   (Mohammad Sajjad)
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(Newser) – The US apologized today for a recent helicopter attack that killed two Pakistani soldiers at an outpost near the Afghan border, saying American pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents they were pursuing. The apology, which came after a joint investigation, could pave the way for Pakistan to reopen a key border crossing that NATO uses to ship goods into landlocked Afghanistan. Pakistan closed the crossing to NATO supply convoys in apparent reaction to the Sept. 30 incident.

Suspected militants have taken advantage of the impasse to launch attacks against stranded or rerouted trucks, including two today in which gunmen torched at least 55 fuel tankers and killed a driver. "We extend our deepest apology to Pakistan and the families of the Frontier Scouts who were killed and injured," said the US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson.

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