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China 'deeply shocked' by NATO Pakistan strikes

28 november 2011, 16:46
0
Relatives and area residents carry the coffin of a Pakistani soldier who was killed in a NATO strike. ©AFP
Relatives and area residents carry the coffin of a Pakistani soldier who was killed in a NATO strike. ©AFP
China said Monday it was "deeply shocked" by NATO air strikes that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead, and demanded an investigation into the incident, AFP reports.

"China is deeply shocked at the incident and expresses strong concerns and deep condolences to the victims in Pakistan," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular news briefing.

"China believes that Pakistan's independent sovereignty and territory should be respected and that this incident should be earnestly investigated and handled in a serious manner."

Close China ally Pakistan has denied provoking the strike on Saturday that left 24 of its soldiers dead, raising tensions between Islamabad and Washington.

NATO and the United States have sought to limit the fallout from the attack, which has seen Pakistan close a vital lifeline to the 140,000 foreign troops serving in Afghanistan and order a review of its US alliance.

Washington has backed a full inquiry and expressed condolences. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has spoken of regret over the "tragic, unintended" killings, but stopped short Sunday of issuing a full apology.

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