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Pakistan shuts off key NATO Afghan supply route

Pakistan shuts off key NATO Afghan supply route
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Emergency arrivals are commonplace at hospitals – but this time, in North-west Pakistan, it was some of the country’s own soldiers that needed treatment.

The men were fired on by NATO helicopters.

Chasing insurgents across the border, the Apache attack helicopter crews thought they were still in Afghan airspace.

For some, it was too late. Three Pakistani soldiers died. A NATO investigation is underway.

The route through the Khyber area is one of two key cross-border supply lines.

Dozens of vehicles are now waiting at the border to cross into Afghanistan.

Local officials say the closure is to prevent reprisal attacks by the Taliban. It is not meant to be permanent.

After the attack, Pakistan’s Interior Minister told reporters his country’s policy was to wait and see if Islamabad and Washington would turn out to be allies or enemies.

The number of so-called “hot pursuit” attacks on the border has been increasing.

This is where troops are directly involved in the chase.

Some see this as a “new pattern” in Pakistan’s tribal areas, where controversial drone strikes have been the arm of choice up until now.