A different deja vu (2)

Downplay is not part of the old script

According to new details reported by a Pakistani newspaper, it was American forces that fired on Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border.

An official with the US-led force in Afghanistan said a team was sent to the crash site to destroy the wreckage. “The explosion caused one side to fire and then the other side fired back,” the official said on condition of anonymity. US warplanes were sent to the area “to calm both sides down,” she said.

But a Pakistani intelligence official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed that a US helicopter had opened fire on Pakistani soldiers, who were gathering the wreckage of the downed plane, killing one of them, and sparking the exchange.

The official from the US-led coalition said she had no information on any American planes opening fire. She said it was possible that the drone had crashed in Pakistani territory and that the team sent to the site had crossed the border. [The News/Jang]

Reports based on anonymous officials can usually be heavily discounted, but the manner in which the official Pakistani military spokesman downplayed the incident suggests that there is something more than an iota of truth in the News’ report.

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