US starts using Pakistan route for Afghan pullout

Afghan pullout

The U.S. says it has started using the land route through Pakistan to pull American military equipment out of Afghanistan.

A spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Marcus Spade, said on Monday that the U.S. moved 50 shipping containers into Pakistan over the weekend.

Pakistan will be a key route for the U.S. to withdraw thousands of containers of equipment out of landlocked Afghanistan as it pulls out most of its combat troops by the end of 2014.

Pakistan closed the route for nearly seven months after U.S. airstrikes killed 24 Pakistani troops in November 2011. Islamabad reopened the route after Washington apologized for the deaths.

During the closure of the Pakistan route, the U.S. had to use a longer, more costly path through Central Asia.

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