US apologizes for attack on Pakistani soldiers

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 7, 2010 04:21

 
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ISLAMABAD — The US apologized for a recent helicopter attack that killed two Pakistani soldiers at an outpost near the Afghan border, saying American pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents they were pursuing.

Wednesday's apology, which came after a joint investigation, could pave the way for Pakistan to reopen a key border crossing that NATO uses to ship goods into landlocked Afghanistan. Pakistan closed the crossing to NATO supply convoys in apparent reaction to the Sept. 30 incident.

Suspected militants have taken advantage of the impasse to launch attacks against stranded or rerouted trucks, including two Wednesday where gunmen torched at least 55 fuel tankers and killed a driver.

"We extend our deepest apology to Pakistan and the families of the Frontier Scouts who were killed and injured," said the US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson.

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