October 6th, 2010
01:31 PM ET

'Better coordination' could have averted Pakistani deaths, panel says

The deaths of two Pakistani border guards, victims of gunfire from a coalition helicopter last week, could have been averted with better communication, a NATO and Pakistani team determined.

"We believe the Pakistani border guard was simply firing warning shots after hearing the nearby engagement and hearing the helicopters flying nearby," said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Tim Zadalis, the assessment team leader for NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

"This tragic event could have been avoided with better coalition force coordination with the Pakistan military."

The incident spurred Pakistan's closure of the main land route for NATO supplies crossing from Pakistan to Afghanistan - an area known as the Torkham border.

ISAF said two border forces were killed and four others were wounded on Thursday. Earlier, Pakistani sources said three died.

The initial assessment into the incident by the Pakistan military and NATO's International Security Assistance Force team said two coalition helicopters passed from Afghanistan into Pakistan airspace several times.

The choppers then fired on a building that was identified later as a Pakistani border outpost. It was a response to shots fired from the site, ISAF said in a news release..

"The assessment team considered it most probable that they had fired in an attempt to warn the helicopters of their presence. Unfortunately, following the engagement, it was discovered that the dead and wounded were members of the Pakistan Frontier Scouts," the release said.

Gen. David Petraeus, ISAF commander, offered condolences.

"We deeply regret this tragic loss of life and will continue to work with the Pakistan military and government to ensure this doesn't happen again," he said.

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Filed under: Afghan security forces • NATO • Pakistan
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. aranhas

    Fired to alert the helicopter they were there? Who believes that? Anyone who fires in the direction of an Apache helicopter or any warbird is going to die. Is this an example of Darwinism?

    October 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    Did you ever see a paraplegic trying to clap?
    No! Well it took place between NATO and
    the two Pakistani border guards. Maybe , next
    time they can use two tin cans and a string.
    It's called coordinate, communicate.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. The reality

    Don't fire "warning" shots. You will be identified as someone who is trying to engage.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TwilightXone

    Coordination – this is what they don't need, they simply think themselves 'the best and the most powerful' with all the 'correct' information.
    They forgot that the information on the bases of which they invaded Iraq and killed Saddam, was later proved to be wrong by no-one but CIA itself.
    Their own ego doesn't allow them to coordinate, and they have experienced it several times. Remember when China took their plane into custody and Bush had to apologize, and now they are apologizing for Pakistani causalities.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. Indian

    US bought loyalty of many War Lords in Af-Pak after 9/11 successively. Unfortunately not of Pakistan after paying " High Price ". And it was not shocking for Indians like me, after listening Mushraff's 1st speech after 9/11 to back stab Crusaders, quoting " Q'ORAN ". Recently, Mushraff admitted that Pakistan trained & supported Militants against India, which most of the Pak Politicians denied, till today. Seems, its too late for Pakistan to back up from Home Grown Terrorists & the Monster created is getting out of control.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. Pakistan

    Let more Pakistani's die in the oil tanker fires that solves the problem. Pakistan is raging stupid

    October 6, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bailoutsos

    Qari Ziauddin, the Taliban shadow governor killed --- How can they find a meaningless person, but can't find bin Laden after 8 years now?

    October 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Smokey

    A major strategic and tactical setback for the west. The LORD has turned His face from America, and withdrawn His favour from the nations of the west. We must repent and turn back to the LORD, or our society will go the way of the atheist Soviet Union.

    October 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka

      SMOKEY..WHYOTHER COUNTRIES ALSO HAD EARTH QUAKES?WHY PAKISTAN HAD FLOODS AND NO HAJJI FESTIVAL, WHY CHINA HAS MUD SLIDES, WHY INDONESIA AND PHILLPIPHINE HAS FLOODS AND EARTH QUAKES ?HOW DO YOU SAY GOD HAS TURNED HIS FACE ONLY FROM US. ANY WAY WAR SHOULD NOT CONTINUE. SO MANY INNOCENT ALSO DIE. IT IS GOOD IF ALL THE CIVILIAN STAY FAR AWAY FROM TERRORISTS HIDE OUTS SO THE DRONES CAN KILL ONLY TERRORISTS.

      October 7, 2010 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ausmadmaxx

    You are still spinning 360 degrees. Get off the Camel. May be you need help!

    October 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bailoutsos

    Qari Ziauddin, the Taliban shadow governor killed --- How can they find a meaningless person, but can't find bin Laden after 8 years?

    October 6, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The reality

    the lesson here is don't fire "warning" shots. You will identified as someone who is trying to engage.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |