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US military in Afghanistan starts equipment withdrawal via Pakistan

English.news.cn   2013-02-10 16:53:01            

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The United States has started the withdrawal of military equipment from Afghanistan as at least 25 containers crossed the Torkham border point heading to the Pakistani port city of Karachi for shipment, local media reported on Sunday.

Geo television quoted Pakistani custom officials as saying that the first convoy of containers, carrying U.S. military equipment from a key NATO base in Afghanistan, was cleared and was allowed to proceed to Karachi.

An official for a private company, responsible for shipment of the U.S. cargo from Afghanistan, has also confirmed the U.S. equipment withdrawal.

Fawad Khan, spokesman for the "Bilal Associates" said that his company cleared the U.S. defense equipment at the Torkham border point on the Pakistani side of the border in strict security.

"The convoy left for Karachi after custom clearance," he was quoted by the Geo TV as saying.

Khan said the second fleet of containers of military equipment will also reach Torkham in the country's northwest from Bagram very soon.

The U.S. plans to withdraw several thousands troops from the war-torn Afghanistan this year and the NATO has set 2014 for a complete withdrawal.

The United States, which has currently more than 60,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of nearly 150,000 NATO force, plans to withdraw all its combat troops by 2014.

Top U.S. military officials had earlier stated they would need Pakistan's role in exit strategy and the country's land routes will be crucial for troops and equipment withdrawal.

Editor: Lu Hui
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