NATO gunships launched an attack on Pakistan’s check post in Salala, located in the Tehsil Bayzai of Mohmand Agency, and situated across Kunar province of Afghanistan. The attack took place early on Saturday and has resulted in the death of 24 soldiers and two officers, with up to 12 soldiers injured. According to Pakistan’s military spokesperson, the incident took place 2 kilometers with in its territory and was unprovoked and deliberate. NATO Spokesman Brigadier-General Carsten Jacobson has stated it was investigating the details of the incident and offered condolences.
Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to Pakistan was called in to launch a strong protest and Prime Minister Gilani is holding an emergency meeting of the cabinet. According to media reports, the NATO supply line passing through Khyber Agency has been closed in protest. It’s not clear if the southern Chaman supply line has also been shut down.
A strong reaction is likely from Pakistan as it has been under pressure from US to launch a military operation in North Waziristan. The incident is likely to impact the tense US Pakistan relations and the upcoming Bonn Conference on Afghan reconciliation, scheduled for December 5th. The calls for cessation of all military operations are likely to rise for nascent political process to move forward. Furthermore, the role of foreign troops in Afghanistan would be in the limelight as well.