KABUL: Firing by Pakistani soldiers at American helicopters that were escorting ground troops along the volatile border on Thursday sparked a five-minute ground battle between the American and Pakistani soldiers, officials said.

US Central Command spokesman Rear Admiral Greg Smith said when the helicopters were fired on, the ground forces fired rounds meant not to hit the Pakistani troops, but “to make certain that they realised they should stop shooting,” Smith said from Centcom headquarters in Florida.

The Pakistani forces fired back during a skirmish that lasted about five minutes. The joint patrol was moving about a mile inside Afghanistan, with the helicopters flying above it, Smith said.—AP

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