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N.Alliance concern over air base move

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Leaders of the Northern Alliance have expressed concern about the arrival near Kabul of coalition troops at an air base north of the city.

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According to Reuters, the alliance, which is now in control of the Afghan capital, held a meeting on Saturday to discuss their response to the deployment of the 100 UK special forces at the Bagram base.

The UK troops arrived with around 60 U.S. personnel in eight C-130 aircraft on Thursday to inspect the base for possible use in a large-scale humanitarian operation.

One senior Northern Alliance official told Reuters that troops from other countries were not welcomed on Afghan soil.

Another, Engineer Arif, deputy head of intelligence for the alliance, told the agency: "We have to take into consideration the spirit of Afghanistan's people and our neighbours over the arrival of forces of foreign countries.

"We are talking with each other in this regard and a final decision will be announced on this soon."

British officials say the troops at the air base are there to secure it in order to provide security for humanitarian operations.

"Generally, we have no problem with a small group of aid workers monitoring and arranging flow or distribution of humanitarian supplies," Arif said.

"If they are civilian workers then we have no problem, but the way they have arrived is quite new. They had not consulted or agreed with us on this issue."



 
 
 
 



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