Joint convoy attacked: 2 killed

May 15, 2007

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PARACHINAR, May 14: A US military personnel and a Pakistani soldier were killed and a few others wounded when their convoy came under attack following a flag meeting near the Pak-Afghan border on Monday, government officials said.

They said that the convoy was on its way back to Afghanistan after a meeting of representatives of the armed forces of Pakistan, Afghanistan and United States in Tari Mingal area of the Kurram tribal region, when it was attacked.

The ISPR spokesman blamed ‘miscreants’, a term used by the Pakistan Army for militants, for the attack, denying local reports that a man disguising as a paramilitary soldier had fired on the convoy.

“Miscreants opened fire on the convoy when the flag meeting of the tripartite commission ended,” the spokesman told Dawn by telephone from Islamabad.

Maj-Gen Waheed Arshad said that one US official and a Pakistan paramilitary soldier were killed.

He said that the four-hour-long meeting had begun at 11.00 am to discuss the situation arising out of the dispute between Pakistan and Afghanistan on a military post on the border resulting in a clash between the two forces on Sunday.

He claimed that the Americans had concurred with the Pakistani viewpoint on the military post.

The spokesman said that an inquiry had been ordered after cordoning off the area to arrest the assailants.

Sources said that military officials of the commission had held the meeting in a school building in Tari Mingal, about two kilometers inside the Pakistani territory, to discuss the dispute over a security post in the mountainous region.

“After the flag meeting, US and Pakistani officials were heading to their helicopters, when they came under fire in which three US officials and two Pakistani paramilitary men and Tehsildar Muhammad Naseer were wounded,” the sources said.

Soldier Attaullah succumbed to injuries, while Tehsildar Muhammad Naseer and another soldier were taken to a hospital in Parachinar, headquarters of the Kurram Agency.

AGENCIES ADD: A Nato soldier was killed and four wounded in an ambush by “unknown assailants” while they were returning to the Afghan side of the border after meeting Pakistani counterparts, a Nato statement said on Monday.

“One ISAF service member was killed and four ISAF service members wounded when they were ambushed by unknown assailants near Teri Mangel, Pakistan, after leaving a border meeting,” the statement said, referring to the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force.

The Nato statement appeared to support Pakistan's version of the incident, and contradicted an Afghan defence ministry spokesman who had earlier accused a Pakistani officer of opening fire on Americans at the meeting, killing two and wounding two.—Reuters