Breaking News: Pakistan

TRUTHER.ORG: News and events relating to Pakistan and terrorism have been everywhere in the last few years but have increased tremendously since the November 26, 2011, attack by the U.S. and NATO forces. Since this attack, Pakistan has retaliated by closing NATO supply lines, ordering drone attacks to stop, closing U.S. drone bases, and stating that they will retaliate if attacked again. Also, the U.S. just arrested an alleged Pakistani terrorist in America and Al Qaeda in Pakistan has just kidnapped an American Jew. All these events indicate that the World War III nuclear scenario with Pakistan as predicted in The Nuclear Bible is now inevitable. Considering that the Pakistani President has been in hospital, a military coup by alleged Islamic extremists may be in the works.

Taliban Ssuicide Bomber Kills 7 Pakistani Troops
December 24, 2011
The Long War Journal

Abstract: A Taliban suicide bomber killed seven Frontier Corps soldiers today in an attack on a base in northwestern Pakistan. The attack, the second against the Frontier Corps in two days, was carried out to avenge a senior Taliban commander killed in a drone strike two months ago.

The Taliban suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a building at a Frontier Corps base in the settled district of Bannu and detonated the bomb, killing at least seven soldiers and wounding dozens more. Officials said the death toll may rise as several of the paramilitary soldiers may be trapped under the rubble.

A Taliban spokesman said the attack was designed to punish the Pakistani military for allowing the US to conduct an airstrike that killed a senior commander.

"We claim responsibility for the attack, which was launched to avenge the killing of one of our commanders Taj Gul in a US drone strike in South Waziristan tribal region last month," Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, told AFP. "Our attacks will continue against the security forces."

The attack is the second against the Frontier Corps in 24 hours. Yesterday, a platoon-sized Taliban assault team killed one Frontier Corps soldier and captured 15 more after overrunning a fort in the nearby district of Tank. That attack was led by Asmatullah Shaheen, or Asmatullah Bhittani, the Taliban's commander for Tank who is on the list of 20 most-wanted Taliban leaders.

The Taliban also claimed that the assault was executed to avenge the death of Taj Gul Mehsud, who has been described as the group's operations commander in South Waziristan and a senior deputy to Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, which is based in Pakistan's tribal areas and the northwest.

Taj Gul was reported to have been killed along with 12 other fighters in a US airstrike on Oct. 26. His death was not confirmed until Asmatullah announced yesterday's attack against the Frontier Corps.

Hakeemullah's forces are at war with the Pakistani state and also send troops to Afghanistan to fight NATO forces. He has vowed to carry out attacks in the US, and was behind the failed car bomb plot at Times Square in New York City on May 1, 2010.

Two of Hakeemullah's top deputies have recently signaled that their group is willing to make peace with the Pakistani state. While there is no official ceasefire between the Pakistani military and the Taliban, suicide attacks and attacks against security forces have been rare. The last reported suicide attack in Pakistan took place in late August. The Pakistani government has signaled it wishes to stop fighting the Taliban, and has suspended operations against the terror group, except for in the tribal agency of Arakzai.

A Pause in Drone Strikes in Pakistan

The US has put the drone program, which hunts senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders as well as dangerous operatives, on hold since the Nov. 26 clash with Pakistani forces in Mohmand that resulted in the deaths of 24 Pakistani troops. The last strike took place 36 days ago, on Nov. 16.

The current pause in strikes is the longest since the program was expanded in the summer of 2008. A US intelligence official told The Long War Journal that the program is "on hold" so as not to contribute to the deteriorating relations between the US and Pakistan. Officials said the pause would be broken only if a high-value target were identified, but would not say how senior the al Qaeda leader must be for another strike to occur (The Lond War Journal, 2011).

Title: Pakistani President In Hospital For 2 More Days
Date: December 9, 2011
Source: AJC

Abstract: A member of Pakistan's ruling party says President Asif Ali Zardari will remain in a Dubai hospital for at least two more days after undergoing tests for a heart condition.

Rashid Chughtai, of the Dubai branch of the Pakistan People's Party, said Friday that Zardari is in stable condition. He is in contact with Zardari aides in Dubai.

Zardari's trip to Dubai earlier this week set off rumors the president was stepping down. The government denied the rumors.

Zardari has been under pressure since Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. was forced to resign over allegations he sent a memo to Washington asking for its help in reining in Pakistan's powerful military.

Pakistani officials have said Zardari traveled to Dubai for tests on his heart after experiencing pain in his arm (AJC, 2011).

Pakistan To Redefine Terms Of Cooperation With US, NATO: Gilani
Date: December 9, 2011
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan

Abstract: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday said Pakistan is reassessing its relations with the United States, NATO and ISAF to redefine terms of cooperation with them. Talking to newsmen here at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), he said there were ups and downs in Pakistan-US relations.

The Prime Minister visited PIMS to meet with patients who successfully underwent cataract surgeries conducted by a team of Chinese surgeons under a programme ‘Bright Light Tour’.

Gilani said Pakistan really wants to improve its relations with the United States.

To a question about NATO attack on Pakistani security forces, he said the matter was referred to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security to formulate recommendations to reassess relations with US, NATO and ISAF.

“We are also holding an inquiry into the incident,” he added.

The recommendations will be presented to a joint sitting of parliament, which will revisit and redefine terms of cooperation with the US and NATO forces in future, he added.

Gilani said the project of cataract surgeries was the vision of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao who announced it during his visit to Pakistan early this year to mark 60 years of Pak-China friendship.

The two countries are true friends and their relations are time tested and all weather, he said adding the project will be a milestone in enhancing ties of the two countries.

The Chinese surgeons started free of charge operations on Wednesday on patients to restore their vision. The medical team consisting of China’s best ophthalmologists came from Beijing’s TongRen Hospital which had a record of 100 percent success in restoring vision in cataract patients.

During the visit, the Prime Minister was briefed by PIMS Executive Director Prof Mehmood Jamal about the cataract surgeries.

The Prime Minister was introduced to the Chinese medical team and he visited the male and female wards, where he talked to patients belonging to Haripur, Attock, Jhelum, Gojar Khan, Bajaur, Mansehra and Azad Kashmir, whose visions were restored.

The treatment of patients entails implanting of lenses through laser technology and they are also given Rs. 2500 after the treatment, said the hospital management.

The Prime Minister was impressed by the quality of eye treatment by highly qualified Chinese doctors with state of the art technology.

Chinese surgeons will conduct 1,000 cataract surgeries in Pakistan in two years. In the first phase 500 surgeries will be performed, 250 each in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad and Nishter Hospital, Multan.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian accompanied the Prime Minister (Associated Press of Pakistan, 2011).

Al Qaeda Leader Claims Responsibility For Capture Of American
Date: December 2, 2011
Source: CNN

Abstract: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has claimed responsibility for the capture in August of a 70-year-old U.S. citizen in Pakistan, according to a number of radical websites known for carrying militants' messages.

In the eighth episode of a series called "A Message of hope and glad tidings to our people in Egypt," the speaker sent a "message of support and encouragement" to members of al Qaeda and the Taliban as well as to "our female oppressed prisoners."

"We did not forget you and we will not forget you, God willing, and therefore in order to release you, we have been successful, thanks to God almighty, to capture an American Jew called Warren Weinstein," he said.

He described the captive as "a former employee and a current contractor working with the U.S. government in its aid program to Pakistan, which aims to fight the jihad in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and just like the Americans arrest any suspect linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban, even if they were far related."

The speaker then listed eight demands that he said, if met, would result in Weinstein's release. They included the lifting of the blockade on movement of people and trade between Egypt and Gaza; an end to bombing by the United States and its allies in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza; the release of anyone arrested on charges of belonging to al Qaeda and the Taliban; the release of all prisoners in Guantanamo and American secret prisons and the closure of Guantanamo and the other prisons; the release of terrorists convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center; and the release of relatives of Osama bin Laden, the founder of al Qaeda who was killed in May in Pakistan.

The speaker said Weinstein's fate lies with U.S. President Barack Obama. "I warn you of Obama's lies and deceit because he hopes that this man gets killed so he doesn't have to worry about his problem. Obama is a liar. He lies, lies and will lie. He may say to you, 'I sought the release of your relative but al Qaeda got stubborn,' so do not believe him. And he may say to you, 'I tried to contact them, but they did not answer,' so do not believe him. He may tell you, 'I do everything in my power to release your relative,' but again do not believe him."

He urged Weinstein's relatives to pressure Obama to accede to his demands "if you want to bring back your relative."

A U.S. official said the circumstances surrounding Weinstein's disappearance have been murky, but added, "It's entirely possible that al Qaeda or one of its militant allies may be holding Mr. Weinstein and the statement by Zawahiri supports this conclusion."

The official said that, based on the materials found in the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, al Qaeda's involvement with a kidnapping would not be surprising. "The documents from bin Laden's hideout show his frustrated deputies were considering kidnapping and other criminal enterprises as a means of striking from their weakened state," said the official, pointing to the terrorist groups' failure to conduct big attacks against Western targets.

Reached Thursday at her home in Rockville, Maryland, Weinstein's wife, Elaine, said, "I just found out myself two minutes ago when somebody told me. I have nothing to add and no information for you."

Weinstein was abducted from his home in Lahore on August 13. As his three security guards prepared for the meal before the Ramadan fast, three men knocked at the front gate and offered food for the meal -- a traditional practice among Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, Lahore police said.

Once the gate was opened, the three men forced their way in, while five others entered the house from the back, tied up the guards and duct-taped their mouths, according to police. They pistol-whipped the driver and forced him to take them to Weinstein's room, where they hit Weinstein on the head with a pistol and forced him out of the house and into a waiting car, police said.

A police official said August 23 that three suspects had been arrested in Weinstein's kidnapping.

Weinstein works for J.E. Austin Associates Inc., a consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia. He is a development expert, according to the company's website. The company did not immediately respond to a call and an e-mail seeking reaction (CNN, 2011).

Title: Pakistan Military Ordered To Return Fire If Attacked By Nato Forces
Date: December 2, 2011
Source: Guardian

Abstract: Pakistan's military commanders have ordered their troops to return fire if they come under attack from Nato forces, raising the prospect of further deadly clashes along the country's border with Afghanistan.

General Ashfaq Kayani, Pakistan's army chief, gave the new order in response to the recent deaths of 24 soldiers when their border posts came under fire from Nato helicopters.

Kayani is under immense pressure from within his own ranks over the two-hour bombardment by the helicopters of an ally, to which the Pakistani air force did not respond. The incident piled further humiliation on a military still stung by the US special forces operation in May that killed Osama bin Laden deep inside Pakistan.

"I want to emphasise and leave no ambiguity in the rules of engagement for everyone down the chain of command," Kayani said in a letter to his troops.

"When under attack, you have full liberty of action to respond with all capabilities at your disposal. This will require no clearance at any level.

"I have very clearly directed that any act of aggression will be responded to with full force, regardless of the cost and consequences."

The communique, issued in Urdu, will be read out by local commanders to their soldiers.

Kayani also said that the air force did not respond to the Nato attack "due to breakdown of communication with the affected posts".

The move effectively transforms the role of more than 100,000 Pakistan troops deployed along its western border from counterinsurgency to border protection duty.

The Nato attack happened on the border between the Afghan province of Kunar and the Mohmand part of Pakistan's tribal area. The border posts were 300 metres inside Pakistani territory.

Pakistan claims the attack was "unprovoked" and continued even after it alerted Nato to the fact that its post was coming under fire.

US officials have claimed a combined Afghan and US special forces squad operating close to the border came under fire from suspected militants on the Pakistani side, and that they responded by calling in air support.

But a senior Pakistani military officer said US officials supplied the wrong co-ordinates for the proposed strike, and then launched the attack "without getting clearance from the Pakistani side".

"It was an unprovoked and indiscriminate attack by US helicopters and fighter jets," he said.

He denied an account by American officials, carried in Friday's Wall Street Journal, that they had checked the location with Pakistan first and the fatal strike had been given the go-ahead.

An investigation by the US military is under way.

In retaliation for the incident, Pakistan has blocked the transit of Nato supplies through its territory, ended the US use of an airbase and is boycotting next week's high-level international meeting on Afghanistan in Bonn.

Pakistan's co-operation is considered vital to stabilising Afghanistan and pushing the Taliban into peace talks (Guardian, 2011).

Title: CIA Ordered To Halt Drone Operations By Pakistan
Date: November 28, 2011
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Abstract: The Pakistani government has responded to NATO air strikes that killed at least 25 soldiers by ordering the CIA to vacate the drone operations it runs from Shamsi Air Base in northern Pakistan and closing the two main NATO supply routes into Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials said that NATO aircraft hit two military posts at the northwestern border with Afghanistan. The country's supreme army commander called the attacks unprovoked acts of aggression.

The CIA was given just 15 days to stop its drone operations. Among the two NATO supply routes into Afghanistan shut by the government was the one at Torkham. NATO forces receive about 40 per cent of their supplies through that crossing, which runs through the Khyber Pass. Pakistani officials gave no estimate as to how long the routes would be shut down.

In Washington, US officials were scrambling to assess what had happened amid preliminary reports that allied forces in Afghanistan engaged in a firefight along the border with insurgents and called in airstrikes. Senior Obama administration officials were also weighing the implications on a relationship that took a sharp turn for the worse after a Navy SEAL commando raid killed Osama bin Laden near Islamabad in May, and that has deteriorated since then.

"Senior US civilian and military officials have been in touch with their Pakistani counterparts from Islamabad, Kabul and Washington to express our condolences, our desire to work together to determine what took place and our commitment to the US-Pakistan partnership," said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

General John R Allen, the commander of the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, offered condolences and promised an investigation. "This incident has my highest personal attention and my commitment to thoroughly investigate it to determine the facts," he said in a statement.

The strikes, which Pakistani officials said had involved both helicopters and fighter jets, took place at two military posts in Salala, a village in Pakistan's Mohmand tribal region near the border with Kunar province in Afghanistan. At least 40 soldiers were deployed at the posts, which according to Pakistani officials were established to repulse attacks by Afghan militants and the Taliban. Pakistani military officials said NATO aircraft had penetrated roughly 2.4 kilometres into Pakistan to make the strikes.

What remained unclear was what prompted the airstrikes and whether they were unprovoked or resulted from a communications mishap. A NATO spokesman, Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, offered details suggesting that allied and Afghan troops operating near the border came under fire from unknown enemies and summoned coalition warplanes for help.

"In the early night hours of this morning (Saturday, local time), a force consisting of Afghan forces and coalition forces, in the eastern border area where the Durand Line [the colonial boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan] is not always 100-per cent clear, got involved in a firefight," Jacobson said, according to a transcript of his statements on NATO TV.

"Air force was called in into this activity and we have to look into this situation of what actually happened on the ground."

But several US and allied military, diplomatic and intelligence officials said it was unclear what threat, real or perceived, led to the airstrikes or why the allied aircraft fired on the Pakistani troops. "It's real murky right now," one senior US official said. "Clearly, something went very wrong."

Such cross-border attacks have been at the heart of an increasingly hostile relationship between Pakistani and US officials. The US has demanded that Pakistan do more to stop militants based in its territory, particularly from the feared Haqqani faction and al-Qaida, from crossing into Afghanistan to attack US forces. And US forces in eastern Afghanistan say they have taken more mortar and rocket fire from positions at or near active Pakistani military posts in recent months.

Pakistani officials have been enraged by the raid on bin Laden's compound and by repeated US drone strikes against militants in the northwestern tribal regions, which they consider breaches of the country's sovereignty.

The Pakistani military said its top commander, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, praised troops at the border checkpoints for responding "in self-defense to NATO/ISAF's aggression with all available weapons", though there was no confirmation by NATO or US officials of return fire (Sydney Morning Herald, 2011).

Title: Pakistan Closes Afghan Border Crossing To NATO Claiming They Attacked Army Checkpoint
Date: November 26, 2011
Source: Fox News

Abstract: Pakistan on Saturday accused NATO helicopters of firing on an army checkpoint in the northwest and killing 25 soldiers, then closed a key border crossing used by the coalition to supply its troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

The alleged Friday night attack was a major blow to already strained relations between Pakistan and U.S.-led forces fighting in Afghanistan.

In a statement sent to reporters, the Pakistan military blamed NATO for Friday's attack in the Mohmand tribal area, saying the helicopters "carried out unprovoked and indiscriminate firing."

The International Security Assistance Force says it is investigating the incident.

"This incident has my highest personal attention and my commitment to thoroughly investigate it to determine the facts," said General John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force. "My most sincere and personal heartfelt condolences go out to the families and loved ones of any members of Pakistan Security Forces who may have been killed or injured."

The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter also promised to investigate the incident.

"I have seen press accounts of an incident on the Pakistani-Afghan border in which Pakistani soldiers were reportedly killed," Munter said in a statement. "I regret the loss of life of any Pakistani servicemen, and pledge that the United States will work closely with Pakistan to investigate this incident."

Pakistan state TV said the helicopters killed 25 Pakistani soldiers. Two government officials in Mohmand confirmed the death toll and said 14 other soldiers were wounded.

The helicopters attacked the checkpoint twice, and two officers were among the dead, said a government official in Mohmand and a security official in Peshawar, the main city in Pakistan's northwest.

The officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The governor of Pakistan's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province criticized the incident, calling it "an attack on Pakistani sovereignty."

A Pakistani customs official told The Associated Press that he received verbal orders Saturday to stop all NATO supplies from crossing the border through Torkham in either direction. A transporter who runs a terminal at the border where NATO trucks park before they cross confirmed the closure. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The incident came a little over a year after U.S. helicopters accidentally killed two Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border, whom the pilots mistook for insurgents. Pakistan responded by closing the Torkham border crossing to NATO supplies -- as it did Saturday -- for 10 days until the U.S. apologized.

In a press release, the ISAF said  its leadership remains committed to improving security relations with Pakistan, including coordination of operations along border regions in their united fight against terrorism.

Torkham runs through the famed Khyber Pass and is the main crossing to Afghanistan from Pakistan, the country through which NATO ships about 30 percent of the non-lethal supplies used by its Afghan-based forces.

The checkpoint that was attacked had been recently set up in Mohmand's Salala village by the army to stop Pakistani Taliban militants holed up in Afghanistan from crossing the border and staging attacks, said two local government administrators, Maqsood Hasan and Hamid Khan.

The military has blamed Pakistani Taliban militants and their allies for killing dozens of security forces in such cross-border attacks since the summer. Pakistan has criticized Afghan and foreign forces for not doing enough to stop the attacks, which it says have originated from the eastern Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. The U.S. has largely pulled out of these provinces, leaving the militants in effective control of many areas along the border.

The Afghan-Pakistan border is a constant flashpoint, with both nations and the U.S. exchanging accusations of violations and of negligence in preventing cross-border attacks. The border is disputed in many areas and not clearly marked, adding to the difficulty.

The U.S. and Afghan governments have long accused Pakistan of not doing enough to prevent its territory from being used by Afghan Taliban militants and their allies to stage attacks against forces in Afghanistan.

The Afghan government blamed Pakistan for firing hundreds of rockets into eastern Afghanistan earlier this year that killed dozens of people. The Pakistan army has denied it intentionally fired rockets into Afghanistan, but acknowledged that several rounds fired at militants conducting cross-border attacks may have landed over the border.

The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban are allies but have largely focused their attacks on opposite sides of the border. The Afghan Taliban aims to topple the U.S.-allied government in Kabul, and the Pakistani Taliban has tried to do the same in Islamabad.

Frustration about cross-border attacks in both directions has contributed to deteriorating ties between the U.S. and Pakistan. The relationship took an especially hard hit from the covert U.S. commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison town on May 2. The Pakistanis were outraged that they were not told about the operation beforehand, and now are angered even more than before by U.S. violations of the country's sovereignty.

The U.S. helicopter attack that killed two Pakistani soldiers on Sept. 30 of last year took place south of Mohmand in the Kurram tribal area. A joint U.S.-Pakistan investigation found that Pakistani soldiers fired at the two U.S. helicopters prior to the attack, a move the investigation team said was likely meant to notify the aircraft of their presence after they passed into Pakistani airspace several times.

Pakistan moved swiftly after the attack to close Torkham to NATO. Suspected militants took advantage of the impasse to launch attacks against stranded or rerouted trucks carrying NATO supplies.

Senior U.S. diplomatic and military officials eventually apologized for the attack, saying it could have been prevented with greater coordination between the U.S. and Pakistan. Pakistan responded by reopening the border crossing (Fox News, 2011).

Title: Pakistan Orders US To Vacate Airbase
Date: November 26, 2011
Source: Press TV

Abstract: Islamabad on Saturday ordered Washington to vacate Shamsi, which is a remote desert outpost in southwest Pakistan.

The airbase was reportedly used as a hub for covert CIA drone strikes. Pakistan had previously told the United States to leave the site in June.

The new order to vacate came after a US-led NATO airstrike killed at least 24 Pakistani soldiers and wounded 15 others in the Mohmand Agency in northwestern Pakistan early on Saturday.

Pakistan also ordered a review of all arrangements with the US and NATO, including diplomatic, political, military and intelligence activities, AFP reported.

The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting of senior cabinet ministers and military service chiefs chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who strongly condemned the strike.

Islamabad also summoned US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter to lodge a strong complaint regarding the unprovoked attack.

Activists with Islami Jamiat Tulba, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami party, staged a protest in the northwestern city of Lahore to denounce the killings of soldiers.

NATO confirmed that the attack has left some Pakistani soldiers dead and has launched an investigation into the incident.

In a retaliatory move, the Pakistani government has blocked dozens of trucks carrying goods and fuel supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has repeatedly condemned airstrikes against its troops near the border with Afghanistan. While the strikes supposedly target militants, they usually claim the lives of civilians and Pakistani soldiers (Press TV, 2011).

Title: Pakistan Outrage After 'Nato Attack Kills Soldiers'
Date: November 26, 2011
Source: BBC

Abstract: The "unprovoked and indiscriminate" attack took place in Mohmand tribal region, the Pakistani military said.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called it "outrageous" and convened an emergency meeting of the cabinet.

Nato's force in Afghanistan is investigating and has offered condolences to the affected families.

The night-time attack took place at the Salala checkpoint, about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) from the Afghan border, at around 02:00 local time (21:00 GMT).

A statement from the Pakistani army said 24 people were killed and 13 were injured.

Prime Minister Gilani cut short a visit to his hometown to return to Islamabad, where he called an emergency meeting of the cabinet.

A foreign ministry statement said he was taking up the matter with Nato and the US "in the strongest terms".

Within hours of the alleged attack it was reported Pakistan had closed the border crossing for supplies bound for Nato forces in Afghanistan - a move which has been used in the past as a protest.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Karachi says furious Pakistani officials insist there was no militant activity in the area at the time.

The incident looks set to deal a fresh blow to US-Pakistan relations, which had only just begun to recover following a unilateral US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in May.

'Unacceptable aggression'

A senior Pakistani military officer told Reuters news agency that efforts were under way to transport the bodies of the dead soldiers to Mohmand's main town of Ghalanai.

"The latest attack by Nato forces on our post will have serious repercussions as they without any reasons attacked on our post and killed soldiers asleep," he said, requesting anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

The Pakistani army said in a statement that two border posts had been attacked by helicopters and fighter aircraft. It said Pakistani troops fired back as best they could.

It said the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had strongly condemned the "blatant and unacceptable act", and demanded "strong and urgent action be taken against those responsible for this aggression".

In a statement, Isaf commander Gen John R Allen said the incident "has my highest personal attention and my commitment to thoroughly investigate it to determine the facts".

"My most sincere and personal heartfelt condolences go out to the families and loved ones of any members of Pakistan Security Forces who may have been killed or injured."

In apparent response to the attack, lorries and fuel tankers were being stopped at Jamrud town in the Khyber tribal region near the city of Peshawar, officials and local media said - part of a key route supplying Nato equipment to Afghanistan.

"We have halted the supplies and some 40 tankers and trucks have been returned from the check post in Jamrud," Mutahir Zeb, a senior government official, told Reuters.

Pakistani troops are involved in fighting the Taliban in the crucial border region area. Hundreds of militants have been resisting attempts by the security forces to clear them from southern and south-eastern parts of the district.

Anti-militant operation

The checkpoint at the centre of this latest incident was set up to prevent insurgents crossing over the border into Afghanistan, our correspondent says.

He says the movement of insurgents from the area into Afghanistan has been a concern for the Nato-led Isaf and the US.

The US has been targeting militants in Pakistan's tribal areas near the Afghan border for several months, often using unmanned drone aircraft.

Last year, US helicopters accidentally killed two Pakistani soldiers near the border, also prompting Pakistan to temporarily close the border to Nato supplies.

In October, Pakistan's army chief Ashfaq Kayani warned the US against taking unilateral action in nearby North Waziristan.

He said that the US should focus on stabilising Afghanistan instead of pushing Pakistan to attack militant groups in the crucial border region.

Washington has for many years urged Islamabad to deal with militants in the area (BBC, 2011).