Friendly fire kills 13 Pakistani troops

AP News
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Posted: Mar 29, 2011 2:47 AM
Friendly fire kills 13 Pakistani troops

Friendly fire killed 11 Pakistani troops and two officers caught up in a militant ambush close to the Afghan border, a top commander said Tuesday.

The incident was an unusually deadly one for Pakistani security forces battling al-Qaida and Taliban militants in the northwest of the country. The victims were from the paramilitary Frontier Corp, which is being trained by a small contingent of American special forces.

Gen. Asif Yasin Malik said a mortar fell short during the fight in the Khyber region.

The slain men included a colonel and a captain. Officials initially said 11 men were killed in the incident Monday.

The Pakistani army has launched several operations in the remote and rugged region over the last 2 1/2 years, but the insurgents have proved a resilient foe. The army says more than 2,000 Pakistani soldiers have been killed there since 2001.

The United States and other Western nations are helping Pakistan because the region is a major global hub for foreign extremists. It is also used as a base to attack Western forces in Afghanistan.