Pakistan military fires on U.S. helicopters

Firing by Pakistani troops forced two U.S. military helicopters to turn back to Afghanistan after they crossed into Pakistani territory early on Monday, Pakistani security officials said.

The incident took place near Angor Adda, a village in the tribal region of South Waziristan where U.S. commandos in helicopters raided a suspected al Qaeda and Taliban camp earlier this month.

“The U.S. choppers came into Pakistan by just 100 to 150 meters at Angor Adda. Even then our troops did not spare them, opened fire on them and they turned away,” said one security official.

The U.S. and Pakistani military both denied that account, but Angor Adda villagers and officials supported it…
But the official denials were contradicted by Pakistani civilian officials and villagers in Angor Adda…

Two Chinook helicopters appeared set to land when troops began shooting, alerting tribesmen who also opened fire on the intruders, said a senior government official in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province.

Statements by politicians and military officials both sides of the border are meaningless, of course. Denial, from the Pentagon to Peshawar, is now an automatic part of the public face of armies.

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