It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
US admits mistakes over killings of Pakistan troops
The US military has admitted it bears significant responsibility for last month's air strike on the Afghan border that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
A statement said US and Afghan troops acted in self defence, but conceded there had been a lack of proper co-ordination with Pakistani forces.
BBC correspondents say the admission is expected to embarrass the US military.
In retaliation for the killings, Pakistan has closed its border with Afghanistan, cutting Nato supply lines.
There was no immediate response from Pakistan to the findings of the US investigation. Pakistan, a vital partner in the fight against militants in the region, has demanded a formal US apology.
In the statement the US once again expressed its deepest regret for the "tragic loss of life" caused by the air strike in Mohmand tribal agency on 26 November.
"Inadequate co-ordination by US and Pakistani military officers operating through the border co-ordination centre - including our reliance on incorrect mapping information shared with the Pakistani liaison officer - resulted in a misunderstanding about the true location of Pakistani military units," it said.
"This, coupled with other gaps in information about the activities and placement of units from both sides, contributed to the tragic result."
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal with more details, US and Afghan commandos made a series of mistakes on 26 November.
They incorrectly concluded there were no Pakistani forces in the Afghan border area where the coalition was conducting an operation - which cleared the way for a Nato air strike that devastated Pakistani positions.
After the initial strike, the US compounded its mistake by providing inaccurate data to a Pakistani military representative at a border co-ordination centre, missing an opportunity to stop the fighting.
The report says the 150-man US and Afghan commando team came under attack from positions along a ridge. The team requested a show of force from the air, wrongly understanding from a radio transmission from Nato that there were no Pakistani military in the area.
Later, another mistake was made when a US military representative in eastern Afghanistan gave general co-ordinates for the fight to Pakistani representatives. They were later forwarded on incorrectly, leading the Pakistanis to conclude that the fight was almost nine miles away from its true location.
Pakistani officials have denied that their troops on the ridge opened fire first on the commandos.
The BBC's Caroline Wyatt in Kabul says it appears that Nato officials did not inform Pakistan of the operation in advance, after fears that the Pakistani military were leaking information to insurgents.
Pakistan responded furiously to the killings of its soldiers.
As well as shutting its border with Afghanistan, which Nato relies on heavily for deliveries of fuel, ammunition and other supplies, it also refused to attend the Bonn conference on Afghanistan earlier this month.
The US government has so far refused to apologise to Pakistan for the deaths, although Washington has repeatedly expressed its condolences for the loss of life.
"Our focus now is to learn from these mistakes," the Department of Defense statement said.
"More critically, we must work to improve the level of trust between our two countries. We earnestly hope the Pakistani military will join us in bridging that gap."