'Coalition forces' using Pakistan air base
ISLAMABAD (CNN) -- Pakistan has turned over the use of its Dalbandin Air Base in the western part of the country to "coalition forces", high-ranking officials in Balochistan Province told CNN Friday.
The base, located in the Balochistan desert west of Quetta, could be strategically important if the U.S. and British forces needed a staging ground close to Kandahar.
Kandahar is a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan about 125 miles (200 km) northwest of Quetta.
Pakistani troops were seen securing the area around the base, while U.S. military aircraft have been seen flying in and out of at least two other Pakistani air bases, including one near the southern city of Jacobabad, sources told CNN.
Pakistani government officials have neither confirmed nor denied that U.S. troops and planes are using any bases.
They have repeatedly said that bases used by U.S. forces would only be for logistical purposes, and not for combat.
Rodgers: Troops hit the ground
October 19, 2001
Mansoor Ijaz: The Pakistan perspective
October 18, 2001
Amanpour: Pakistan military on high alert
October 17, 2001
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