NATO helicopters breach Pakistani airspace again

17:09, October 12, 2010      

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NATO helicopters violated Pakistan's airspace Tuesday morning near Chaman border area in the southwest Balochistan province, local media reported citing official sources.

According to details, two NATO helicopters flew 200 meters inside Pakistani territory and returned after creating panic and fear among the border area residents, official sources added.

The NATO helicopters continued flights inside Pakistani territory for 20 minutes and had entered through "Bab-e-Dosti" or the Friendship Gate area on Pakistan-Afghanistan border, local media reported.

This is the second violation of Pakistani airspace by NATO gunship choppers within a week, official sources said.

Earlier on September 30, two NATO gunship fired rockets at paramilitary checkpoint in Kurram tribal area in the northwest border with Afghanistan, killing three troops and injuring an equal number.

Consequently, Pakistan blocked its Torkham border for NATO supplies for ten days. It was resumed on Sunday after a written apology by NATO to Pakistan government. The blockade strained bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States, which is leading the war against terrorism in this region.

Moreover, the supply to NATO troops in Afghanistan was once again temporarily halted near Chaman border area Tuesday morning, as protestors blocked highway against sluggish road construction in southwest Balochistan province of Pakistan, local Urdu language media reported.

The Quetta-Chaman highway was broken at many places and is being under construction for many months. The slow pace of construction work is not only disrupting the traffic flow but convoys speed as well, local sources said, adding that the damaged road has also increased the frequency of wear and tear of tires and vehicles.

Over a thousand miles stretch from southern port city of Karachi to Torkham is backbone of vital supply to more than 140, 000 NATO troops fighting insurgency in Afghanistan since the ouster of Taliban government in 2001. Two border points at Chaman in Balochistan and Torkham in the troubled northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are used as entry points into Afghanistan.



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