NATO confirmed there were helicopters flying near the Pakistani border and was investigating the reported attack.
A day after the U.S. and Pakistan "reset’’ their bilateral relationship, a Yemeni-origin al-Qaeda operative was arrested in Karachi, there was an incursion by two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) helicopters into Pakistan – resulting in an exchange of fire – in North Waziristan which also witnessed two drone attacks, and an abortive suicide bomb attack in Quetta involving suspected Chechen terrorists who were gunned down.
If the exchange of fire at the Admi Kot Post in North Waziristan between Pakistani troops and two NATO helicopters threatened to strain the fragile relationship further, the announcement of the arrest of the al-Qaeda operative, Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub alias Abu Sohaib Al Makki, should provide Islamabad some breathing space at a time when its commitment to the war on terror is being questioned globally.
The arrest of Makki was announced late in the evening by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) but no details were provided about how he was nabbed. According to ISPR, Makki was working directly under al-Qaeda leaders along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. However, he is not among America’s "most wanted’’ as his name does not feature in the U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice list.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistan Army lodged a strong protest with NATO and demanded a flag meeting over the violation of airspace. Two Pakistani soldiers were injured in the exchange of fire. This coupled with Monday night’s drone attacks in North Waziristan came just hours after U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry sought to address Pakistan’s concerns about unilateral action within the country by the Americans as part of their policy of "hot pursuit’’. Pakistan, in turn, assured the U.S. that it would act against terrorist sanctuaries in the tribal areas.
Towards late afternoon a major tragedy was averted in Quetta when a check post was attacked by five terrorists – including three women – who were strapped with bombs. According to the police, they were first stopped for checking near the airport but they sped away from the spot. An alert was sounded and they were accosted by the Frontier Constabulary at their check post.
The terrorists then threw hand grenades and fired at them. One of the women blew herself up and all the other terrorists were killed in the firing that ensued. Based on their appearance and documents found on their bodies, security personnel said they were possibly Chechens.