Pakistani Taliban Attacks Stranded NATO Supply Tankers
October 4, 2010
(ChattahBox World News)—The Pakistani Taliban attacked a fleet of NATO fuel tankers, idled by the government, in retaliation for the death of three soldiers killed by gunfire from NATO helicopters. This is the fourth attack against the supply tankers, since Friday, and the Taliban fighters are threatening other assaults to disrupt supply convoys for the NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Since the deaths last week of Pakistani soldiers, after NATO helicopters crossed the border to attack a military station, the government closed off the Khyber Pass, leaving the fuel tankers stranded and vulnerable to attack.
The NATO secretary general released a statement apologizing for the deaths and promising an investigation.
“I expressed my regret for the incident last week in which Pakistani soldiers lost their lives, and my condolences to the families. Obviously, it was unintended. Obviously, we have to make sure we improve coordination between our militaries and our Pakistani partners,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement Monday. “There is a joint investigation underway. We will determine what happened, and draw the right lessons.”
The deaths of the Pakistani soldiers has also emboldened the Taliban, who vow to disrupt the Afghanistan supply route along the Khyber Pass, once it’s reopened.
On Monday, Taliban militants opened fire on the fuel tankers, causing dozens of tankers to erupt in flames and killing one person.
CNN writes about the attack:
“Attackers in Pakistan hit another convoy carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan on Monday, killing one person, authorities said.”
“It’s the fourth attack in as many days on convoys carrying fuel to support the NATO forces.”
“Gunmen fired on a convoy of oil tankers in the Kalat district of Pakistan’s western Balochistan province, said Bashir Ahmed, a police official in Kalat. One person died, police said.”
Despite the tension and insurgent violence, the United States is not backing off of its unmanned drone attacks.
On Monday, the U.S. carried out two drone attacks, killing 18 militants. During the month of September alone, the Obama administration has launched a record 21 drone attacks inside Pakistan.