Officials looking into Pakistani troop deaths are meeting again
Military officials from the United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan are meeting again this week as part of a joint investigation into a cross-border engagement in June that killed 11 Pakistani soldiers.
Details of the incident have been disputed by both sides, and the "officials will meet at Bagram Air Field to exchange their independently collected data," a U.S. military news release said Thursday.
The first meeting of the investigative group was held June 24 at Bagram.
"All participants have agreed to embargo details until completion of the tripartite investigation, which is anticipated to be closed later this month," the release says. "The date and identities of participants are withheld for security reasons."
The dispute centers on a battle that broke out on a mountain ridge near Afghanistan’s northeastern border with Pakistan. Footage taken by a drone and released by the Pentagon appeared to show men firing on Afghan troops from the ridge, prompting a U.S. airstrike.
U.S. officials have said the militants who mounted the attack had fled toward the Pakistan border. The boundary between the two countries in that area has long been disputed.
Pakistan says the strike hit a border post, killing its soldiers.
Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has called the incident "intolerable" and said that the attack has "enraged" the people of Pakistan.
As Taliban forces continue to strengthen in eastern and southern Afghanistan, tensions with Pakistan have increased. Both Afghan and American officials say Pakistan is not doing enough to stop militants who seek refuge and stage attacks from the Pakistani frontier.