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Air traffic controllers report 437 CIA flights over Germany: Spiegel

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Dec 3, IRNA
At least 437 CIA flights either made stopovers in Germany or crossed its air space over the past years, Germany's national air traffic control agency said in a report submitted to the German government.

According to a report to be published Monday in the news magazine Der Spiegel, two privately-registered companies, linked to the CIA, either passed the German air corridor or landed on German
territory 137 times in 2002 and 146 times in 2003.

Believed to be carrying terrorist suspects, the CIA aircraft made stopovers at US airbases in Germany -- among them Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt and the Ramstein Air Force Base in southwestern Germany.

The controversial CIA flights over Germany have become a major embarrassment for new Chancellor Angela Merkel in her bid to improve transatlantic relations.

Merkel is expected to discuss the issue of the CIA flights with visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during their talks on Tuesday in Berlin.


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