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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan army dismisses NATO strike inquiry report

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Dec 23, IRNA -- Pakistan Army has rejected an investigation report into the last month’s NATO strike on two of its border posts which had killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and injured 13 others.

The investigation into the November 26 strike in Pakistan's Mohmand tribal region, bordering Afghanistan, has caused rift between Pakistan and the United States, two close allies in the war on terror.

The inquiry report, released on Thursday, concluded that mistakes from both sides led to the airstrikes, a NATO spokesman said.

Terming the report as biased as well as lacking in key facts, an early Friday army statement said, local TV channels reported.

“The enquiry report is short on facts. Detailed response will be given as and when the formal report is received,” it said in a brief statement.

“The report has holes in it, which need to be filled in,” Geo television quoted the army statement as saying.

A formal reply would be issued after the Pakistan army would receive the details of it, the statement from the army’s Inter-Services Public Relations said.

Local media also quoted the Pakistani Army Spokesman Major General Athar Abbas as saying Islamabad would not give a detailed response to the findings until it received a copy of the report.

Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit had also earlier stated that Pakistan will look at the findings very carefully and then articulate a response.

NATO spokesman Colonel Gregory Julian in Brussels said, 'The investigation has ascertained that a series of mistakes were made on both sides in failing to properly coordinate their locations and actions, both before the operation and during the resulting engagement.'

The US defense department spokesman separately issued the report at a Pentagon briefing and a statement from the U.S. embassy in Islamabad said that findings of the inquiry report have been issued.

Sources said that the U.S. ambassador in Islamabad Cameron Munter met Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salaman Bashir late Thursday evening at the Foreign Office and delivered the report.

Rejection of the U.S. inquiry report in a quick and short statement shows that the findings have not fully addressed to Pakistan’s demands.

NATO and the U.S. did not tender apology in the findings and repeated the previous stand of expressing regrets by the NATO and Pentagon spokesmen when they released the report on Thursday.

Pakistan army and civilian leaders have already rejected regrets and had called for action against those responsible for the attack, which caused a dent in ties between the U.S. and Pakistan.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30727605

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