US Won't Punish Soldiers in Deadly Pakistan Airstrike

Announcement expected to raise anger in Pakistan
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2012 6:30 AM CDT
US Won't Punish Soldiers in Deadly Pakistan Airstrike
In this Nov. 26, 2011 file photo provided by Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations department, smoke rises after a reported NATO airstrike in Pakistan, along the Afghanistan border.   (AP Photo/Inter Services Public Relations Department,file)

(Newser) – The US soldiers responsible for the wayward airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November will not face any disciplinary action, reports the New York Times. The initial American investigation found fault on both sides for the strike, noting that Pakistani soldiers fired first, their camp was not identified on coalition maps, and the Pakistani forces continued firing even after being warned they were firing at allied forces. So a second inquiry was held to determine what punishment, if any, the US soldiers involved should face.

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“We found nothing criminally negligent on the part of any individual in our investigations of the incident,” said one US investigator, explaining that American forces only fired in self-defense. With Pakistan's parliament scheduled to resume its review of Pakistan-US relations tomorrow, the military's finding is expected to re-ignite Pakistani anger. President Obama is to meet with PM Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday in Seoul, but officials say he will only re-state his regret over the incident, and not offer an apology as Pakistan officials are demanding. (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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