No US soldier to be charged over NATO strike in Pak: NYT

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New York, Mar 26: The US military has decided that none of its soldiers involved in a NATO airstrike in November last year that had killed 24 Pakistani soldiers will face disciplinary charges, an incident that had plunged the bilateral ties to a new low.

A second inquiry to determine whether any American military personnel should be held accountable for the incident concluded that the Americans fired in self-defence and should not be punished, 'The New York Times' reported quoting three senior military officials.

"We found nothing criminally negligent on the part of any individual in our investigations of the incident," a senior American military official was quoted as saying. The other mistake that contributed to the fatal cross-border strike was the regrettable result of battlefield confusion.

Ties between the US and Pakistan plunged to a new low after the November incident, which had also complicated the allied mission in Afghanistan. An American investigation in December had found that both US and Pakistani troops were to be blamed for the deadly exchange of fire, but had noted that the Pakistanis fired the first shots from two border posts.

The investigation had found that the Pakistani soldiers had kept firing even after the Americans tried to warn them that they were shooting at allied troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan has rejected these conclusions and blamed the American forces for the deadly incident.

PTI

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