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Pakistani Border Guard Wounds U.S. Soldier

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31, 2002 – A Pakistani border guard shot and wounded a U.S. soldier Dec. 29 during an incident on the Afghan border with Pakistan, Joint Task Force180 officials said.

The soldier received a grazing wound to the back of the head. He was evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and is listed as stable.

The incident occurred near Shkin. U.S. soldiers were observing Pakistani border guards destroy inert missiles found in the area. The border in the region is in dispute, but U.S. officials said the American soldiers were within Afghanistan.

Officials said one of the border guards approached the U.S. patrol. The American soldiers asked him to go back to his side of the boundary. As he walked back, the border guard turned, dropped to one knee, and fired on the Americans. The U.S. soldier was wounded at this time. American officials said the other Pakistani border guards in the area helped the U.S. forces.

The border guard ran into a nearby abandoned madrassa, or local religious school. He was the only person observed entering the structure, but U.S. soldiers said they took more fire from the building and called in close-air support. An AV-8B dropped a 500-pound precision-guided bomb on the building. The structure is inside the recognized borders of Afghanistan.

Officials said the border guard is in Pakistani custody.

American officials said U.S. and Pakistani troops continue to work closely together to patrol the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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