War on Terrorism

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Clinton, Panetta Monitor Reports of Pakistan Border Incident

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2011 – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta are closely monitoring reports of a deadly cross-border incident in Pakistan yesterday, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby said.

“Both offer their deepest condolences for the loss of life and support fully NATO's intention to investigate immediately,” Kirby added.

In a statement from Kabul, ISAF officials said they are investigating an incident that occurred early yesterday morning along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

According to news reports, dozens of soldiers were killed in the early morning hours across the border in Pakistan during air strikes by coalition forces.

Clinton, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force and of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, each called their Pakistani counterparts, the Pentagon spokesman said.

Cameron P. Munter, U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, also met with Pakistani government officials in Islamabad.

From Kabul, Allen sent his “most sincere and personal heartfelt condolences … to the families and loved ones of any members of Pakistan Security Forces who may have been killed or injured."

The incident, he added, “has my highest personal attention and my commitment to thoroughly investigate it to determine the facts."

In its statement, ISAF said its leadership remains committed to improving security relations with Pakistan, including coordination of operations along border regions in the united fight against terrorism.

Clinton and Panetta each expressed their sympathies and a commitment to review the circumstances of the incident, Kirby said, noting that both stressed “the importance of the U.S.-Pakistani partnership, which serves the mutual interests of our people.”

All the leaders, he added, pledged to stay in close contact with their Pakistani counterparts as both nations work through this challenging time.

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