Clinton, Panetta Monitor Reports of Pakistan Border Incident

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2011 — Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton and Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta are close­ly mon­i­tor­ing reports of a dead­ly cross-bor­der inci­dent in Pak­istan yes­ter­day, Pen­ta­gon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kir­by said.

“Both offer their deep­est con­do­lences for the loss of life and sup­port ful­ly NATO’s inten­tion to inves­ti­gate imme­di­ate­ly,” Kir­by added.

In a state­ment from Kab­ul, ISAF offi­cials said they are inves­ti­gat­ing an inci­dent that occurred ear­ly yes­ter­day morn­ing along the Afghanistan-Pak­istan bor­der.

Accord­ing to news reports, dozens of sol­diers were killed in the ear­ly morn­ing hours across the bor­der in Pak­istan dur­ing air strikes by coali­tion forces.

Clin­ton, Army Gen. Mar­tin E. Dempsey, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, com­man­der of the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force and of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, each called their Pak­istani coun­ter­parts, the Pen­ta­gon spokesman said.

Cameron P. Munter, U.S. ambas­sador to Pak­istan, also met with Pak­istani gov­ern­ment offi­cials in Islam­abad.

From Kab­ul, Allen sent his “most sin­cere and per­son­al heart­felt con­do­lences … to the fam­i­lies and loved ones of any mem­bers of Pak­istan Secu­ri­ty Forces who may have been killed or injured.”

The inci­dent, he added, “has my high­est per­son­al atten­tion and my com­mit­ment to thor­ough­ly inves­ti­gate it to deter­mine the facts.”

In its state­ment, ISAF said its lead­er­ship remains com­mit­ted to improv­ing secu­ri­ty rela­tions with Pak­istan, includ­ing coor­di­na­tion of oper­a­tions along bor­der regions in the unit­ed fight against ter­ror­ism.

Clin­ton and Panet­ta each expressed their sym­pa­thies and a com­mit­ment to review the cir­cum­stances of the inci­dent, Kir­by said, not­ing that both stressed “the impor­tance of the U.S.-Pakistani part­ner­ship, which serves the mutu­al inter­ests of our peo­ple.”

All the lead­ers, he added, pledged to stay in close con­tact with their Pak­istani coun­ter­parts as both nations work through this chal­leng­ing time.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)