[QODLink]
Americas
Obama: NATO raid in Pakistan 'not deliberate'
US president offers his condolences for deaths of 24 Pakistani troops in call to his Pakistani counterpart.
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2011 19:23
The NATO air strike triggered anti-US protests in Pakistan [AFP]

US President Barack Obama has told his Pakistani counterpart that last month's deadly NATO air strike on Pakistani territory was "not a deliberate attack", the White House said.

Obama offered his condolences "on the tragic loss" in a call to Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday

The November 26 raid killed 24 Pakistani troops along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan and caused one of the most serious rifts between the two countries in recent years.

"The president made clear that this regrettable incident was not a deliberate attack on Pakistan and reiterated the United States’ strong commitment to a full investigation," the White House said in a statement.

"The two presidents reaffirmed their commitment to the US-Pakistan bilateral relationship, which is critical to the security of both nations, and they agreed to stay in close touch."

The incident sparked rage in Pakistan, where citizens are already angry over their government's perceived obeisance to US interests, especially the wide latitude given to US drone attacks and special operations inside the country.

In response, Pakistan has so far refused to take part in a US probe into the air strike. It has also shut down a vital NATO supply line into Afghanistan and ordered American personnel to leave Shamsi air base.

The base is widely understood to have been a hub for the covert CIA drone attacks on Taliban and al-Qaeda commanders in Pakistan's troubled border areas with Afghanistan.

US personnel have started leaving the base, a senior Pakistan Army official confirmed to Fox News on Sunday.

According to the official, US cargo planes arrived at the base to take equipment and other gear out of the country.

Also in the wake of the raid, Pakistan decided not to take part in the Bonn Conference in Germany on the future of Afghanistan that opens on Monday. The decision, together with the Taliban's boycott, has cast the event's usefulness into doubt as Pakistan's influence is seen as a major factor for stability in Afghanistan.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.