Afghan supply flights suspended from Kyrgyz base - NATO

Policemen and servicemen block opposition supporters outside a government office during a rally in the northwestern town of Talas April 6, 2010. REUTERS/

KABUL (Reuters) - Flights supporting NATO operations in Afghanistan from a Kyrgyzstan air base have been suspended, but Kyrgyz political unrest has not seriously disrupted Afghan military operations, the NATO-led force in Afghanistan said.

The opposition in Kyrgyzstan -- a poor, land-locked central-Asian state north of Afghanistan -- said on Thursday it had seized power and dissolved parliament after deadly protests forced President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to flee the capital.

The United States operates Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan as one of the main regional hubs for logistical operations to support the war in Afghanistan.

“Our understanding is that Manas relocated some aircraft and temporarily suspended flights in and out of the base. Those actions had no significant impacts on operations or logistical support in Afghanistan,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Tadd Sholtis, spokesman for the NATO-led force in Afghanistan.

Manas is one of the main way-stations for troops and supplies to be flown into Afghanistan, and has been particularly busy this year as Washington deploys 30,000 extra troops ordered to Afghanistan by U.S. President Barack Obama in December.

(Editing by Alex Richardson)

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