Pentagon denies Pakistan fired on US helicopters

The Pentagon on Monday denied reports that Pakistani troops fired on two United States military helicopters after they crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan and forced them to turn back.

”I’ve checked into that and find it to be a spurious report,” Pentagon spokesperson Bryan Whitman told reporters. ”Did not happen. I’ve checked all the places that would know about something like that and it doesn’t appear to be accurate.”

Whitman was speaking after Pakistani security officials said US helicopters were fired upon near Angor Adda, a village in the tribal region of South Waziristan where officials say US commandos in helicopters raided a suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban camp earlier this month.

”[I] cannot find any mission that correlates to the report I saw out of Pakistan. I can’t find any [military] report of helicopters being fired upon,” Whitman said.

Pakistani military spokesperson Major Murad Khan said there had been shooting. But he denied that American helicopters had crossed into Pakistani airspace and said Pakistani troops were not responsible for the firing.

Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Kayani said in a strongly worded statement last week that Pakistan would not allow foreign troops on to its soil and Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be defended at all costs. — Reuters

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