An investigation into a November airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani troops has found U.S. forces acted in self defense, though poor coordination between the two militaries played a significant factor, according to a Department of Defense statement released early Thursday.
The finding is likely to further erode relations between the United States and Pakistan, which have steadily declined since a secret raid by American commandos that killed Osama bin Laden.
Pakistan's military has repeatedly insisted the November 26 airstrike near the Afghan border was deliberate, and the Pakistani government ordered the American military to vacate an air base used to launch drone strikes.
"The investigating officer found that U.S. forces, given what information they had available to them at the time, acted in self defense and with appropriate force after being fired upon," the Department ofÂ Defense said in a statement posted on its web site.
"He also found that there was no intentional effort to target persons or places known to be part of the Pakistani military or to deliberately provide inaccurate location information to Pakistani officials."FULL STORY