Pakistan Boots CIA From Drone-Launch Base

US officials say counter-terrorism strikes to continue from other sites
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2011 2:31 AM CST
Updated Dec 12, 2011 5:31 AM CST
A US Marine helicopter takes off from Shamsi airfield in 2002.   (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)
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(Newser) – Furious over the recent NATO airstrike that killed at least 25 Pakistani soldiers, Pakistan has booted the CIA from an important base it had been using to launch drone attacks along the Afghan border, reports the New York Times. Pakistani officials said that, as of yesterday, all US personnel had left the Shamsi base in western Pakistan, and that it was now in possession of the Pakistani army. Even though the CIA has been kicked out, Pakistan's prime minister said the nation would likely not allow NATO to resume using Pakistan for resupplying operations for several weeks.

Pakistan officials have ordered the CIA out of the Shamsi base before, after the commando attack that killed Osama bin Laden—but US lobbying allowed American operations to continue. American officials said that drone and counter-terrorism operations would not end in the region despite the loss of the base. “The US retains robust capabilities to fight al-Qaeda and its militant allies,” said a US official. “Our operations will continue.” (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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