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Pak military rejects Nato chief's regret over air strike

The Pakistani military today rejected the regret expressed by the Nato chief for a cross-border air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and warned that the action could have "grave consequences". Watch videovideo

world Updated: Nov 28, 2011 16:14 IST

The Pakistani military on Monday rejected the regret expressed by the Nato chief for a cross-border air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and warned that the action could have "grave consequences".

The regret expressed by Nato over the killing of the Pakistani soldiers is "not enough", chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said.

"The Nato strike can have grave consequences," he said.

Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen yesterday said he had written to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to express regret over the "tragic unintended incident".

In a statement, he said: "I have written... to make it clear that the deaths of Pakistani personnel are as unacceptable and deplorable as the deaths of Afghan and international personnel."

Pakistan has reacted angrily to the killing of two dozen soldiers, including two officers, in the Nato air strike in Mohmand tribal region on the border with Afghanistan.

It has closed all Nato supply routes and asked the US to vacate Shamsi airbase, believed to be used by CIA-operated drones.

However, Abbas said Nato's expression of regret was inadequate.

"We think this is not enough and we do not accept it. Such raids have also been conducted in the past. Such attacks are unacceptable," Abbas told BBC Urdu.

Pointing out that 72 Pakistani soldiers were killed and nearly 250 injured in Nato strikes in three years, Abbas said the Pakistani leadership will decide whether more steps would be taken in reaction to the Nato strikes.