Anti-Drone Protests Halt U.S. Military Convoys
The key supply route, which runs from the Torkham Gate border crossing, has been the scene of protests aimed at the US drone campaign in Pakistan that has killed and injured hundreds of innocent civilians.
Protesters, many of them armed with clubs, had been forcing drivers to stop their trucks and submit to forcible inspections of their cargos, occasionally turning back vehicles carrying NATO supplies.
“We have voluntarily halted US shipments of retrograde cargo through the Pakistan Ground Line of Communication (GLOCC) from Torkham Gate through Karachi,” Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said in a statement.
The US military depends on the Torkham crossing for transporting more than half of its shipments, with the rest being carried by aircraft.
The suspension of cross-border shipments comes at a bad time for the US military, which is preparing to evacuate the bulk of its troops and equipment from Afghanistan by December 2014.
The US military still has around 46,000 troops in Afghanistan, a figure set to fall to 34,000 by early next year.
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