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US Releases Video of Clash Along Pakistan-Afghan Border

By VOA News
12 June 2008

The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan has released video footage of a disputed air strike that Islamabad says resulted in the deaths of 11 Pakistani soldiers.

Details about Tuesday's attack remain unclear. U.S. military officials in Afghanistan say coalition forces retaliated Tuesday after coming under fire from militants inside the Afghan border in eastern Kunar province. Officials say the operation was coordinated beforehand with Pakistan.

The U.S.-led coalition released excerpts Thursday of video to support its version of the incident. The footage, taken by an unmanned surveillance aircraft, shows what the coalition calls "precision" strikes on a group of militants along the Pakistan-Afghan border.

But Pakistan says the air strike killed 11 of its soldiers at a checkpoint along the Afghan border. A Pakistani army spokesman called the strike an "unprovoked and cowardly" act, and Islamabad lodged a diplomatic protest against the U.S. Wednesday.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry also issued a statement saying the air strike undermines the very basis of its cooperation with U.S. coalition forces.

A U.S. Defense Department spokesman, Geoff Morrell, has defended the deadly air strike, saying it was a legitimate act against forces that had attacked coalition troops.

The U.S. embassy in Islamabad said it regrets what happened and it offered condolences to the families of the dead.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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