US apologises to Pak over NATO cross-border helicopter attack

Islamabad, Oct 7(ANI): The United States' Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, has apologised for last Thursday's NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) cross-border helicopter attack that killed two Pakistani soldiers close to the Afghan border.

The attack had provoked an angry response in Pakistan, following which a key supply route for US-led forces in Afghanistan was shut down.

Patterson said that the Obama administration would work with the Pakistan government to prevent future accidents.

"We extend our deepest apology to Pakistan and the families of the Frontier Scouts who were killed and injured," The Telegraph quoted Patterson, as saying.

"Pakistan's brave security forces are our allies in a war that threatens both Pakistan and the US," she added.

Earlier, in separate meetings with CIA Director Leon Panetta, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had conveyed the message that any violation of its sovereignty was unacceptable to Pakistan.

Pakistan has already lodged a protest with a senior official at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

A two-member Pakistan team, led by Deputy Inspector General of the Frontier Corps Brigadier Usman Khattak, is currently in Afghanistan to conduct a joint investigation into the attacks. (ANI)

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