WASHINGTON (AP) -- Preliminary U.S. military reports say NATO forces may have been lured into attacking friendly Pakistani border posts in a calculated maneuver by the Taliban.
The Associated Press has learned that a NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers over the weekend was an apparent case of mistaken identity.
A joint U.S.-Afghan patrol was attacked by the Taliban early Saturday morning. While pursuing the enemy in the poorly marked border area, the patrol seems to have mistaken one of the Pakistan troop outposts for a militant encampment and called in a NATO gunship and attack helicopters to open fire.
The incident has sent the perpetually difficult U.S.-Pakistan relationship into a tailspin.
U.S. officials described the reports on condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters.