Pakistan Army Fires on US Troops Trying to Cross Border

Tensions high as shots rebuff helicopters
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2008 9:13 AM CDT
Pakistani children participate in a rally to condemn U.S. strikes in Pakistani tribal areas along Afghanistan border, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008 in Lahore, Pakistan.    (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
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(Newser) – Pakistani soldiers fired shots into the air to prevent American troops from crossing the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan, according to officials in the region. The BBC reports that 9 US helicopters landed at around midnight on the Afghan side of the border, and troops then tried to enter into South Waziristan, part of Pakistan's lawless northwest.

American sorties into the tribal region have infuriated the Pakistani government, which has not given its permission for troops to enter. The mountainous border area harbors Taliban and other Islamist militants, who use the area as a haven to launch attacks in Afghanistan. A spokesman for the Pakistani military confirmed that shots were fired, but denied that Pakistani troops were involved.