Pakistan Changes Story: Monday Soldier Deaths Were ‘Friendly Fire’

Ambush Unrelated to the Fatalities

Just one day after Pakistan’s military reported that a Monday ambush in the Khyber Agency killed 14 soldiers, the top military leadership totally revised the story. Now, only 13 soldiers were killed, and the ambush, apparently, didn’t kill any of them.

Rather, Lt. General Asif Yasin Malik now says that all 13 were killed by mortar fire from nearby soldiers who were called in to provide support after the ambush. The insurgents apparently killed no one, but the military’s own response killed 13 of its own men.

Lt. Gen Malik also claimed that the troops arrested a number of militants, but exactly how this could be is unclear, as the indications are that virtually the entire Frontier Corps forces on the scene was killed in the friendly-fire incident.

It is unclear what group was involved in the clash, but Pakistan has been targeting the banned Lashkar-e Islam movement in recent days, which is strongly active in Khyber and the surrounding areas.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.