Tina K. Russell

September 27, 2008

Guns and buttering-up

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 3:13 am

So, some American helicopters maybe flew over the Afghanistan-Pakistan border—wherever it is—and got to exchange some friendly bullets with the locals.

Pakistani and American Troops Exchange Fire – NYTimes.com
American and NATO officials said that the two helicopters were flying about one mile inside Afghan airspace to protect an American and Afghan patrol on the ground when the aircraft were fired on by troops at a Pakistani military checkpoint near the Tanai district in Khost Province. The officials said small-caliber arms were used.

In response, the American ground troops shot short bursts of warning fire, which hit well shy of the checkpoint, and the Pakistanis fired back, said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a spokesman for the United States Central Command.

… [Pakistan disagrees, saying the helicopters had flown into Pakistani airspace]

“When our forces fired warning shots, we were a little scared of a possible retaliatory fire from the helicopters,” said one of the residents, Hajji Said Rehman Gorbaz. “But we were happy to see the helicopter flying back into Afghanistan. We were happy that our forces fired at the helicopter.”

Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, said Thursday that his nation’s military had fired only flares at the helicopters, seeming to draw a distinction with warning “shots,” which usually refers to bullets or other ordnance that could more seriously damage the helicopters.

“They are flares,” Mr. Zardari said as he sat down to meet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the United Nations. He said the flares would alert the pilots that they had crossed the border, which he said is rugged and poorly marked.

Ms. Rice agreed that the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was “very, very unclear.”

Wow, I wonder how this went. Sounds like the gentlest trading of small-arms fire in the world. Ratta-tatta-tat… so sorry!

Considering both US and Pakistan have the bomb, I hope this conflict doesn’t escalate into missiles with boxes of chocolates strapped to them.


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