US army halts shipments from Afghanistan via Pakistan

Pakistani activists rally, demanding to stop Nato shipments. Photo: 1 December 2013 Many Pakistanis have been angered by deadly US drone strikes

The US military has halted its ground cargo shipments from Afghanistan via Pakistan because of the risk to drivers after protests over US drone strikes.

Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said this would affect outgoing shipments of equipment and other goods from US units on Afghan soil.

He said deliveries could be resumed "in the near future".

Pakistanis have blocked the US main supply route to Afghanistan, blaming the drones for causing civilian deaths.

Protesters have been harassing truck drivers, turning back vehicles carrying Nato provisions.

The blockade is centred on a road in Pakistan's north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province,

Islamabad says it is committed to allowing supplies through, but as yet has done nothing to stop the vigilante action, which has caused huge disruption, correspondents say.

There are two crossings in Pakistan used to take Nato troop supplies to and from Afghanistan - the other crossing in south-west Balochistan province has not been affected by a blockade.

Washington has already redirected many supplies coming into Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.

The US military is sending equipment home as it reduces the number of its troops in Afghanistan.

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