Saturday, December 12, 2009
• Contractor said to be helping to load missiles
• US denies controversial company is in country
Declan Walsh in Islamabad and Ewen MacAskill in Washington
guardian.co.uk, Friday 11 December 2009
"The US contractor Blackwater is operating in Pakistan at a secret CIA airfield used for launching drone attacks, according to a former US official, despite repeated government denials that the company is in the country.
The official, who had direct knowledge of the operation, said that employees with Blackwater, now renamed Xe Services, patrol the area round the Shamsi airbase in Baluchistan province.
He also confirmed that Blackwater employees help to load laser-guided Hellfire missiles on to CIA-operated drones that target al-Qaida members suspected of hiding in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions, confirming information that surfaced in the US media in the summer......"