Militants torch 50 NATO trucks in Pakistan

By Muhammad Najeeb, IANS,

Islamabad : Another 50 trucks carrying goods for US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan were torched by militants Monday morning, bringing to more than 200 the total number of vehicles in less than 48 hours.

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Officials confirmed that this was the second attack in less than 48 hours in which several military vehicles and other military supplies were gutted to ash. Though there is no claim by any militants groups, Pakistani security forces said that Taliban are apparently behind the attacks on the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of the restive North West Frontier Province.

Late on Saturday night at least 150 trucks loaded with supplies, military vehicles and other hardware for NATO forces in Afghanistan were set on fire by militants, who attacked two terminals on Peshawar’s main Ring Road.

Officials said that this was the most severe assault so far on NATO supplies in the region. The two terminals were littered with burnt Humvees, cranes, military trucks and hardware.

Security guards said that over 200 heavily armed militants subdued them and started torching the parked convoy of vehicles and containers at Al-Faisal and Port World Logistics terminals.

The NATO goods are supplied to the US-led forces through Pakistan under the transit trade agreement with Afghanistan. There had been instances of isolated attacks on the trucks carrying goods for NATO, but none of the kind just experienced.

Last month, the militants had threatened to attack the goods caravans and the contractors had to park their trucks in Peshawar for almost 10 days. Later, the Pakistan Army provided security for the trucks, which then left for Afghanistan.