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Air Force General Appointed To Lead Pakistan Border Strike Probe

Supporters of Pakistan's Tehreek-i-Insaf (Movement for Justice) hold party flags and shout anti-American slogans during a November 28 demonstration in Islamabad against the NATO cross-border attack from two days earlier.
The United States military has appointed an Air Force general to lead the investigation into the NATO air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers near the border with Afghanistan.

The tragedy has inflamed already fraught relations between the two uneasy allies in the effort to combat terrorism originating in the region.

Officials said Brigadier General Stephen Clark, who works with the Air Force Special Operations Command, would lead the probe.

A NATO representative is also expected to be part of the investigation.

The U.S. Central Command said officials of the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan will also "be invited to participate."

On November 28, the White House said President Barack Obama considered the deaths of the Pakistani soldiers to be "a tragedy."

The air strikes on November 26 at two remote border posts in the Mohmand tribal area near the Afghan border have angered Pakistani authorities, who have shut down NATO supply routes from Pakistan to Afghanistan in retaliation.

Pakistani officials have said Pakistani troops had taken no action to provoke the air strikes, while Western and Afghan officials have reportedly described the strikes as coming in response to fire and that the Pakistani troops may have been targeted in error.

compiled from agency reports