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The killing of 11 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers by American airstrikes last month might have been prevented if the precise location of a border checkpoint had been in an American database used to prevent accidental attacks on friendly forces, American and Pakistan officials have told The New York Times.

Had the grid coordinates of the post on the border with Afghanistan been in the database, red flags would have immediately gone up when allied troops called in airstrikes during a border clash with insurgents, American officials briefed on an investigation into the strikes said Tuesday.

The Pakistani forces that were killed were apparently inside the border post or possibly in bunkers near it, perhaps intermingled with the insurgents who had retreated back across the border into Pakistan after firing on the allied troops on the Afghan side, the officials told the Times, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry’s results had not yet been officially released.

According to the report, Pakistani officials say they had provided NATO and the United States with the grid coordinates for all 997 of its border checkpoints, while the Americans say they did not have the information for the one struck on June 10.

No blame was assigned by the monthlong inquiry by American, Afghan and Pakistani officials, the Times noted.

For the investigation, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States decided that each would conduct its own review and then try to reconcile the results, at which they were largely unsuccessful, the Times reported.


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