U.S. and Pakistani ground troops traded gunfire during a bloodless, five-minute skirmish on the Afghan-Pakistan border, U.S. military officials said Thursday.
U.S. Central Command spokesman Rear Adm. Greg Smith confirmed the exchange, which was certain to heighten tensions over cross-border operations in an area known as a haven for Taliban and al-Qaida militants.
Smith said it began when Pakistani forces fired on two American helicopters escorting Afghan and American ground troops along the volatile border.
He said U.S. forces responded with small-arms fire directed at the outpost, and Pakistani forces returned fire against the ground units.
There were no casualties reported in the exchange. The official said the helicopters were flying about a mile inside the Afghan border. Smith said U.S. troops did not cross into Pakistan.
Thursday, September 25, 2008