ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani security officials said on Monday that troops had fired on U.S. military helicopters and forced them to turn back to Afghanistan, but both the Pakistani and American militaries denied the incident.
According to the security officials, the incident took place near Angor Adda, a village in the tribal region of South Waziristan where officials have said U.S. commandos in helicopters raided a suspected al Qaeda and Taliban camp earlier this month.
“The U.S. choppers came into Pakistan by just 100 to 150 meters at Angor Adda. Even then our troops did not spare them, opened fire on them and they turned away,” said one security official.
While Angor Adda villagers and officials supported that account, the U.S. and Pakistani military denied the report.
Pakistan’s military spokesman Major Murad Khan confirmed there had been a shooting but said the American helicopters had not crossed into Pakistani airspace and Pakistani troops were not responsible for the firing.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman and a U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan said American helicopters had not come under fire.
“I’ve checked into that and find it to be a spurious report,” Whitman told reporters. “Did not happen. I’ve checked all the places that would know about something like that and it doesn’t appear to be accurate.
“(I) cannot find any mission that correlates to the report I saw out of Pakistan. I can’t find any (military) report of helicopters being fired upon,” Whitman said….
It may be awhile before the full truth of this comes out.