US Soldiers Demine Mazar-i-Sharif Airport

Published November 29th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

A dozen US soldiers began Thursday to demine and repair the dilapidated civil airport in the strategic northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, an AFP reporter said. 

The soldiers exploded several mines dug up from the ground, setting off the blasts at a good distance from the airfield. 

The 3,000 meter (9,000 foot) runway was dotted with enormous craters left by US bombs before the Taliban militia were chased from the city by the Northern Alliance. 

Afghans working for the Americans began to repair the innumerable holes of various sizes left in the tarmac by the American airstrikes. 

French troops were to have secured the airport to allow the airlifting of humanitarian aid still blocked in neighboring Uzbekistan because of the refusal of Tashkent to open up the border. 

But the 60-member advance party of French troops was still held up at a base in southern Uzbekistan. 

The American soldiers here refused to talk to the press. But one of them, asked whether any French troops had arrived, said laconically, "not yet." -- AFP

You may also like