Pakistan Border Crossing Still Shut After US Apology

Pakistan has still not reopened a border crossing used to transport supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan, despite an apology from the United States for a cross-border raid that killed Pakistani soldiers.Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Abdul Basit, told reporters Thursday that authorities are evaluating the security situation and will make a decision on re-opening the supply route “in due course.”Pakistani authorities ordered the Torkhum border crossing shut a week ago after NATO helicopters fired missiles at a Pakistani military post, killing two soldiers and wounding four.
The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, called the helicopter raid a “terrible accident” and apologized to Pakistan and the families of those killed.General David Petraeus, who leads U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, also apologized for the soldiers’ deaths, saying coalition forces “deeply regret” the loss of life.A joint Pakistani-NATO investigation into the raid said U.S. pilots had mistaken the soldiers for militants.
The assessment said Pakistani troops had fired warning shots to signal to the helicopters that they had crossed the border. The helicopters mistook the shots for enemy fire and launched rockets, destroying a Pakistani military post.Hundreds of supply trucks remain stranded at the closed Torkhum border crossing in the Khyber tribal region, leaving them vulnerable to attacks from Taliban insurgents.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for two attacks Wednesday that destroyed over 40 fuel tankers.In the first attack, two carloads of Taliban gunmen fired on fuel tankers at a depot near Quetta, in western Pakistan, then burned at least 20 of them, killing a driver.
In a separate incident late Wednesday, militants armed with assault rifles attacked a group of tankers parked along the road near the northwestern Pakistani city of Nowshera, torching at least 26 of them – Voanew