Pakistani Militants Torch NATO Tankers in Pre-Dawn Attack, AGAIN
October 9, 2010
(ChattahBox World News)— These attacks on NATO fuel tankers, bound for Afghanistan, are becoming all too familiar and deadly. On Saturday, in the pre-dawn darkness, Islamic militants started shooting at nearly 30 tankers parked in front of a hotel in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. The militants attacked with Kalashnikovs and rockets causing a blazing inferno that also injured two people. This is the sixth such attack, since the Pakistani government closed off the main supply route to Afghanistan in retaliation for the deaths of two soldiers killed by gunfire from NATO helicopters.
Since the Pakistani government closed the main Torkham gate into Afghanistan, NATO supply conveys have been forced to travel through dangerous terrain rife with Taliban militants and al-Qaeda fighters. And many fuel tankers, as a result have been idled, while waiting for the main route to re-open.
Islamic militants, angry over U.S. drone attacks, have been taking advantage of the increased exposure of the NATO tankers. On Wednesday, Taliban fighters attacked about 40 fuel tankers in Quetta near the only remaining open border crossing into Afghanistan, killing one driver.
The AFP reports on today’s attack:
“Gunmen Saturday torched at least 29 oil tankers in southwest Pakistan, the sixth attack in just over a week as Islamist militants continue to target a NATO supply route into Afghanistan.”
“Two police officers were wounded in the attack in the remote Mitri area, 180 kilometres (112 miles) southeast of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province, which borders Iran and Afghanistan.”
As ChattahBox reported earlier in the week, U.S. and NATO officials have issued apologies and launched investigations into the deaths of the two Pakistani soldiers, mistaken for militants, to no avail. The Pakistani government has continued to block the main supply route into Afghanistan.
The tanker attacks have taken the lives of at least seven people.