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US begins equipment pullout from Afghanistan via Pak route

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

According to international media, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, Marcus Spade, said on Monday that the US moved 50 shipping containers into Pakistan over the weekend.

Pakistan will be a key route for the US 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 US 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 US had to use a longer, more costly path through Central Asia.

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