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U.S. troops kill Pakistani soldiers


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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- U.S. forces in Afghanistan accidentally shot and killed two Pakistani soldiers and wounded another when they fired across the border into Pakistan's northwest frontier area, a Pakistani army spokesman said.

"A strong protest has been launched with U.S. authorities about the incident," according to a Pakistani army statement, which said the incident resulted from a miscommunication.

The U.S. Central Command issued a release saying that "coalition forces on patrol in the vicinity of Orgun, in the Paktika Province of Afghanistan, were fired upon by several individuals.

Coalition close air support was called in and responded to the enemy forces that were identified and fleeing towards the Pakistani border. The incident resulted in the unfortunate and unintended engagement of Pakistani security forces in the area."

"Initial reports" indicated that two died and one was wounded, it said, and the incident is under investigation.

Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan said the soldiers were killed in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan about 10 a.m. (5 a.m. GMT).

Both the Pakistani and U.S. soldiers were patrolling the border, he said, on the lookout for remnants of al Qaeda or the Taliban who escaped capture during the Afghan War.

Tribal members in northwest Pakistan -- largely uncontrolled by the Pakistan government -- are said to be harboring al Qaeda terrorists.

The wounded soldier was a member of the nation's paramilitary forces, or Frontier Corps, Sultan said.

CNN Islamabad Bureau Chief Ash-har Quraishi contributed to this report.


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