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NATO oil tankers attacked in SW Pakistan

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 7, IRNA -- Unidentified gunmen in Pakistan's southwest Wednesday attacked tankers carrying oil for NATO forces in neighbouring Afghanistan, third major attack on NATO supplies vehicles in two weeks, police and witnesses said.

The NATO oil tankers came under attack in the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, early morning, Deputy Inspector General Police Hamid Shakil, said.

A witness said on phone from Quetta that nearly 40 oil tankers were parked along the main highway between Quetta and the border town of Chaman, when the gunmen fired at the tankers at Akhtarabad area. Some 12 tankers were destroyed and 22 were saved by the police, he said.

The police chief told reporters that one driver was killed and one injured. He said that the attackers came in vehicles and fled after the incident.

Shakil said that the contractors of the NATO are responsible for the security of their vehicles when the vehicles are parked.

Fire fighters were called to extinguish the blaze and police said they faced difficulties in their operation.

It is the third major attack on NATO trucks in two weeks.

On Monday militants attacked NATO oil tankers near the capital Islamabad, burning some 27 vehicles and killed at least three people, according to Islamabad police chief Kalim Imam.

Pakistan Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack on NATO oil tankers near Islamabad.

On Friday, some 20 militants attacked a NATO convoy with rockets in Shikarpur, a city in southern Sindh province, burning over 20 oil tankers.

Also on Friday rockets were fired at two NATO supply trucks in southwestern city of Khuzdar. Two people were also killed.

Pakistani Taliban had claimed the responsibility and threatened more attacks on NATO convoys.

Militants have stepped up attacks in Pakistan on oil tankers and containers after the last month NATO airstrikes in a Pakistani tribal region.

NATO helicopters carried out three strikes in Kurram tribal area on September 27, killing three soldiers, the army says.

Pakistan as a protest also blocked NATO supplies after the attacks and the ban entered its 6th day on Tuesday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit says that the NATO supplies was blocked due to anger in the country over air raids, adding that the supply would be restored after the security situation is improved.

Some 70 percent of NATO supplies and 40 percent of its fuel are being shipped to Afghanistan via Pakistan.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30006933

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