Report: U.S., Pakistani Military Units Exchanged Fire

By Jon E. Dougherty at 3 Oct 2011

(Newsroom America) -- Pakistani military units have fired on U.S. and Afghan units several times over the past year, a report said Monday, though Washington has downplayed the incidents.

The Washington Examiner reported that the exchanges of fire represent deteriorating relations between Washington and Karachi, but also between neighbors Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Kabul issued an angry warning to the Pak government last week over some 300 rockets Pakistan has allegedly launched into Afghanistan's Nuristan and Kunar provinces, killing an unknown number of civilians, the paper said.

Pakistani officials countered that the nation's military was targeting Tehreek-e-Taliban operatives, not Afghan civilians.

In September, U.S. Apache helicopter crews were fired on by Pakistani soldiers. The helicopters returned fire and some Pak soldiers were wounded said the paper. International Security Assistance Force officials said the American helicopters were in Afghan airspace.

U.S. and Afghan officials said that incident was reported by ISAF, but many are not.

"We're not allowed to return fire to coordinates inside the Pakistan border. We know it's the Pakistani military in many cases. Pakistan has been instigating, aiding Haqqani, and has been purposefully working to turn back any gains ISAF has made in the region," one military official told the paper.

"This has been going on for some time, but because it's so sensitive it has been kept relatively quiet," said another.

Tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan have been high for years, largely over Washington's belief that Pakistan military and intelligence services are assisting Taliban fighters inside Afghanistan.

However, tensions really increased following a raid in May by U.S. Navy SEALs inside Pakistan in which Osama bin Laden was killed. Some reports have said U.S. officials believe Pakistan was aware of bin Laden's presence and was protecting him.

© 2011 Newsroom America.

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