Report Blames US in Deadly Pakistan Strike

Report blames lack of trust, mistakes for killing of 24 Pakistanis
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2011 7:30 AM CST
Updated Dec 22, 2011 7:57 AM CST
US Errors Blamed in Deadly Pakistan Airstrike That Killed 24
Pakistani students take part in a rally called by Jamaat-e-Islami against NATO airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 in Karachi, Pakistan.   (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

(Newser) – A lack of trust between the United States and Pakistan was the key culprit in a series of blunders that resulted in the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers on Nov. 26, reports the Wall Street Journal. US forces made two major errors that day: not informing the Pakistanis that the 150-man border operation was taking place and, when they checked with Pakistani officials to authorize the subsequent airstrikes, they accidentally provided the wrong coordinates, off by 9 miles.

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Pakistan, too, made mistakes, most significantly withholding information about the location of its border posts—a finding that isn't likely to sit well with Pakistan, which was enraged by the incident. US officials also contend that Pakistani forces fired first and should have known from the fighter jets and gunships that their patrol wasn't insurgents, and Pakistani officials refused to take part in the investigation. “The message we’re trying to convey tonight is that were some pretty serious breakdowns all around,” an American official told the New York Times. “How does Pakistan react? We hope we can start moving forward.” (Read more US-Pakistan relations stories.)

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