US stops shipping from Afghanistan amid risks from protests

The United States has stopped shipments out of Afghanistan, citing the risk to truckers from protests along part of the route in neighboring Pakistan.

There have been anti-U.S. demonstrations in Pakistan in recent days calling for an end to the American drone program that targets militants. So U.S. officials said Tuesday that they had ordered truckers under U.S. contract to park at holding areas inside Afghanistan temporarily to avoid going there.

Mark Wright, a Pentagon spokesman, said the order affects outgoing shipments, that is, equipment and other goods being sent home from military units as their numbers are reduced in Afghanistan. Many supplies coming into Afghanistan for use by remaining troops were long-ago redirected to alternate routes, going through other countries, due to previous problems with Pakistan.