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No U.S. soldiers to be charged over deadly strike in Pakistan: report

(Xinhua)

09:09, March 26, 2012

WASHINGTON, March 25 (Xinhua) -- No U.S. servicepersons will face disciplinary charges for their involvement in a NATO airstrike last November that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers, the New York Times reported Sunday.

The decision was the result of a second inquiry to determine whether any American military personnel should be punished for their involvement in the incident, in which a total of 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed and 13 others injured on Nov. 26 when NATO warplanes bombed two border posts in Mohmand tribal region near the Afghan border, the newspaper said.

"We found nothing criminally negligent on the part of any individual in our investigations of the incident," one official was quoted as saying by the newspaper on the condition of anonymity.

The Pentagon unveiled the result of the first inquiry into the incident last December, concluding that NATO forces "acted in self defense" with no intention to target the Pakistani military.

"The investigating officer found that U.S. forces, given what information they had available to them at the time, acted in self defense and with appropriate force after being fired upon," the Pentagon said in a statement.

Pakistan has rejected these conclusions and ascribed most of the blame to the American forces.

The incident further deteriorated the relationship between Washington and Islamabad, which began to strain after the U.S. raid inside Pakistan that killed Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden on May 2 last year.

Following the Nov. 26 attack, the Pakistani government immediately ordered the closure of two border check points for NATO supplies into Afghanistan through Pakistan.

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