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thedrifter
09-23-08, 12:06 PM
AFGHANISTAN: Marine colonel says Pakistani military copter helped Taliban

The Pakistani military flew helicopter missions into Afghanistan to help the Taliban during a firefight with U.S. Marines in 2007, according to a story in DefenseNews.

The story quotes Marine Lt. Col. Chris Nash, who led a U.S. team embedded with Afghan forces in the Tora Bora region on the Afghan-Pakistan border, where Al Qaida and Taliban forces are thought to be hiding.

Nash said that he and his troops did not see the Pakistani copter but received information about it from the Afghan intelligence service, which allegedly had a source in the Taliban camp. The copter flew several resupply missions to a Taliban base 10 to 12 miles inside Afghanistan during the June 2007 fight, Nash told reporter Sean Naylor.

The relationship between rogue segments of the Pakistan military and the Taliban is one of the touchier parts of the alliance between the U.S. and Pakistani governments.

Naylor's story includes a strong denial from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington.

Tony Perry, San Diego

Photo: Marine Lance Cpl. Liab Cheng in the mountains near the Pakistani border. Credit: Steve Hebert Polaris / For The Times

Ellie