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Three Pakistanis injured as oil tankers for US forces attacked

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 17, IRNA
Six oil tankers carrying fuel for US forces in Afghanistan were attacked and three Pakistani drivers injured when suspected Taliban attacked the vehicles near Kandahar airport on Sunday, an official of the Pakistani oil tanker company said.

A representative of the oil tanker Al-Haaj company told reporters in the Pakistani border town of Chaman that the injured drivers were admitted in a Kandahar's Mir Wais hospital.

The tankers were hit by a volley of rockets at 4 am near the airport on the main highway, connecting Kandahar with Chaman, he said.

Oil tankers are loaded at the Pakistani southern port city of Karachi, from where oil is routinely shipped to Kandahar for US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Tankers carrying oil for US and coalition forces were also targeted in the past. It was the second attack on oil tankers, carrying oil for US forces in less than three weeks.

Three Pakistani nationals were killed when Taliban fired rockets on three oil tankers at the border Afghan town of Spin Boldak on April 2.

Meanwhile, a private TV channel reported that one driver was killed and three others injured in the attack.

Geo quoted Kandahar police officer Khalid Khan as saying that one Pakistani driver was killed in the attack.

He said that one tanker was exploded in a blast, followed by rocket fire on the tankers outside Kandahar airport. The airport is used by American forces.

A Taliban spokesman Lateefullah Hakimi had apologized the families of those killed in the April 2 attack and advised Pakistani drivers not to work for Americans.

Taliban have stepped up attacks in recent days as the weather has changed.

US commander in Afghanistan General David Barno was quoted yesterday as saying that Taliban could carry out big attacks in coming days.

::IRNA No.020 17/04/2005 12:40 --End

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