Pakistani military accuses US of intentionally killing troops in Mohmand

The Pakistani military dismissed the US military’s investigation into the cross-border incident that killed 24 Pakistani troops in the Mohmand tribal agency late last November, and accused the US military of intentionally attacking the troops and attempting to cover it up.

The Pakistani military issued a formal report today that attempts to rebut the investigation conducted by Brigadier General Stephen Clark, which was released on Dec. 22, 2011. Clark was assigned to determine the cause of the clash that resulted in the deaths 24 Pakistani officers and soldiers during airstrikes in the Mohmand tribal agency on the night of Nov. 25-26. Pakistan refused to cooperate with Clark’s investigation.

The US report said that Pakistani troops first opened fire with mortar and machine-gun fire, provoking a US response. A series of mistakes by both ISAF and Pakistani troops as well as mutual distrust between the parties led to the deadly firefight, Clark’s investigation concluded.

The Pakistani military’s response, which was released today at the military’s public relations website, called Clark’s report “factually not correct” and accused the US military of intentionally killing Pakistani troops in an “unprovoked attack.”

“It is highly improbable that such a large number of mistakes (as acknowledged in the US Investigation Report) could have been coincidental,” the Pakistani military said in one of its conclusions.

The Pakistani military said the US investigation into the “unprovoked attack” was an attempt to “contort the facts and confuse the issue.”

“Not only was the response, not in self defence, it was disproportionate, excessive and sustained which resulted in death of 24 soldiers while 13 sustained injuries,” the Pakistani report stated. “The unprovoked engagement thus left behind 7 widows and 16 orphans.”

“Sustained aggression which continued for as long as ’90 minutes’ despite US / ISAF being informed about the incident at multiple levels by Pakistan Military within minutes of initiation of US / ISAF fire, belies the ‘self defence’ and ‘proportional use of force’ contention,” another of the report’s conclusions stated.

Additionally the Pakistani military accused Clark’s report of intentionally manufacturing evidence of Pakistani military uniforms that were found during the raid on the Afghan village where the clash took place.

“To justify the grave US / ISAF excesses committed on the night of 25/26 November, the Investigation Report tries to contort the facts and confuse the issue,” the Pakistani report said.

“Moreover, reports of discovery of Pakistani Law Enforcement Agencies uniforms from Maya Village after the end of Operation SAYAQA is an unconvincing attempt to cover the US / ISAF attacks by giving a misleading impression that Pakistani soldiers on Volcano and Boulder posts may well have been mistaken by US / ISAF to be anyone else,” the report stated later.

The Pakistani military also denied one of the key assertions made by the US – that Pakistani forces first opened fire on US and Afghan troops inside Afghanistan. Instead, the Pakistani military claimed the Pakistani troops “were defending against an unprovoked attack.”

“In an effort to provide justification for US / ISAF actions, the Investigation Report has gone to extreme lengths to construct the whole incident as an act of ‘self defence’ and the force used by US / ISAF / NATO as legal and proportionate,” the Pakistani report stated. “At no stage did the Pakistani Posts fire on, or in the direction of the Helicopter Landing Zone or the route from Helicopter Landing Zone to Maya Village.”

In the final conclusion, Pakistan refused to accept any responsibility for what happened in Mohmand, and instead said the US and ISAF are fully to blame.

“There have clearly been several failures on the part of US / ISAF / NATO (as acknowledged in the US Investigation Report),” the report concluded. “Trying to affix partial responsibility of the incident on Pakistan is, therefore, unjustified and unacceptable.”

The Pakistani report is sure to further sour US/Pakistan relations, which are at an all-time low since the Mohmand clash. Pakistan closed down NATO’s supply routes for Afghanistan; ejected the US from the Shamsi Air Base, where drone strikes against al Qaeda were staged; and has said it is reevaluating its cooperation with the US in the War on Terror. The US placed the drone program on hold for 55 days before targeting al Qaeda on Jan. 11. There have been two other strikes since.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.


  • Hektor says:

    And the beat goes on…this reminds me of all the Chinese rhetoric several years ago when a Chinese interceptor collided with a Navy P-3 Orion, resulting in the P-3 having to make an emergency landing on a Chinese island. Instead of admitting their mistake the ChiComs just ratcheted everything up. The country went into mourning for their idiot pilot, the government awarded him newly-created honors and posthumously made him a national hero, and the PLA stripped our plane of everything. The crew was detained for several weeks while all this jive went on. Basically, the ChiComs bellowed as loudly as they could to signal they wouldn’t back down (and they won, too).
    Same thing here…

  • L. Schweigert says:

    This is the same garbage the Pak army propaganda organ spews in response to Pakistan’s cross-border shenanigans in Kashmir. They never own their responsibility in the punch-ups there either. As for “widows and orphans,” consider how many widows and orphans and amputees Pakistan’s support and orchestration of the Taliban insurgency has caused. Isn’t it time we regard Pakistan for what it is- a belligerent at war with the Afghan-international coalition?

  • KaneKaizer says:

    Sure, Pakistan. US forces intentionally attacked and killed a group of Pakistani forces… because?

  • David says:

    @L. Schweigert — yes, it is. But then we would have to acknowledge that we have allowed this belligerent who is at war with us to control our supply lines, and after we pull out, those of the Afghan National Army.
    The recent stories about our drone strikes, especially in Reuters, talked about the Pak Army putting spotters on the ground for our strikes. This schizophrenic behavior makes me think that we are fighting a civil war in Pakistan, and we don’t even know who in Pakistan is on our side. Somebody is, if those reports are correct. Lots of them are our deadly enemies, also.
    If we can’t solve this riddle, the best approach might be to get our troops out from where the Pak’s control the supply lines, and try to put the same kind of financial sanctions we just put on Iran, if we can get the Euros to go along. Not impossible, considering how much European terrorism the Paks cause.

  • Vienna,January 24,2012
    The fact remains the Pak Inter Sevices Intelligence
    “sensed” NATO operations on the Afghan border against
    the intruding Al Qaeda related forces.The “speculative fire”
    was meant a cover drive.The NATO responded by seeking
    for clarity if “friends or enemies”.All clear came in answer
    from Pak forces concealing the hidden troops.The rest
    is acknowledged by helicopter gunship targetting the hidden
    points on the disputed Durand Line territory.This area
    will remain the bone of contention even after the entire
    NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan for long time. Mark
    it.Armed forces friendly media in Pak should be read
    with sensitivity to get the message.Pakdefence blog is
    reflective of this as well as the Urdu Press printed from
    right to left not left to right as the languages of rest of
    the world with the exception of picturousque Mandarin
    scripts! In other words, PLA has duel meaning concealed
    Pakistan Liberation Army and PeopleĀ“s Liberation Army
    both are led by authoritarian establishments of two
    conflicting but co-operating ideological faithfuls.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

  • Neonmeat says:

    The plot thickens.
    It seems both sides have admitted that this is more than just a coincidence and that major mistakes were made.
    However I fail to find any reason as to why US troops would want to fire on Pak Troops?
    It seems to me there is no benefit either for the Troops on the ground or for the Military Commanders and especially not for their Political overlords.

  • Scott says:

    The taliban just released video of the execution of 15 captive Frontier Corps soldiers. Where is the outrage from the Pakistani people, press, and government? By all rights, they should be screaming for the utter destruction of every last taliban militant. But instead, you could hear a pin drop.

  • Mr T says:

    Yeah, who to believe? The US and NATO or the Pakistanis? They criticise the NATO report but refused to cooperate in their investigation. The should get another bomb up their butt for lying about it and stoking even more violence. That is their goal.
    The Pakstanis have NO credibility. They are obviously lying. and if there were survivors, they know they are lying.

  • mike merlo says:

    ‘Reads’ like a well executed operation by US forces to me. Maybe next time, though probably not, Patheticstan will think ‘twice’ before ambushing US personnel as they did a few years back.

  • Zeissa says:

    Pakistan is unworthy of nationhood. It is too bad the US does not wish to partition it as some accuse it and the ISAF of.

  • Al says:

    I was in China during P-3 incident. The public news boards were plastered with pictures of several P-3s flying in treatening formations. Cheap photoshop propaganda. No one really paid any attention.


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