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Pakistan denies provoking NATO strike

Pakistan has denied reports that its troops fired at NATO forces, provoking the alliance air strike that killed 24 soldiers at two military posts on the border with Afghanistan.

Nato pakistan 11 26 11Enlarge
Trucks carrying supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan are parked at the Pakistan's Torkham border crossing after Pakistani authorities suspended NATO supplies on November 26, 2011. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan on Monday denied reports that its troops fired at NATO forces, provoking the alliance air strike that killed 24 soldiers at two military posts on the border with Afghanistan, the BBC reported.

More on GlobalPost: Pakistan orders review of relations with US after deadliest NATO air strike

The Wall Street Journal quoted Afghan officials who said the attack was ordered to shield joint NATO and Afghan forces who had come under fire while pursuing Taliban fighters.

But in a text message responding to the allegations, Pakistani army spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas rejected the claims, adding that those behind the strike were “making up excuses,” the BBC reported.

The incident, which took place in Pakistan's tribal district of Mohmand, has strained already fragile relations between Pakistan, the United States and NATO.

The Pakistan military claims strike, early Saturday morning, lasted for almost two hours, and that NATO forces ignored pleas from Pakistani commanders to stop, the Associated Press reported.

The Pakistani soldiers who died in the strike were buried at military headquarters on Sunday, while several anti-NATO protests have reportedly been held across Pakistan.

NATO has apologized for what it called a "tragic unintended incident," and promised to launch a full investigation.

The incident led Pakistan to NATO convoys from traveling along key supply routes into Afghanistan, and order a review of its relations with the US.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/111128/pakistan-denies-provoking-nato-strike