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Gunmen attack burn 3 NATO oil tankers in Pakistan

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 13, IRNA -- Unidentified gunmen in southern Pakistan torched three oil tankers, carrying oil for US-led NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan on Thursday, police and witnesses said.

The gunmen, riding motorcycles, first opened fire on the NATO oil tankers in Shakarpur district in Sindh province, and then torched three tankers, witnesses said.

They said the unidentified armed men first opened fire and then torched the NATO oil tankers on the main highway, linking Karachi with the northwest, the main supply route to Afghanistan.

Traffic was also suspended on National Highway for a while and police later arrived at the scene searching the area to apprehend the attackers but no one was arrested.

The oil tankers were coming from the port city of Karachi and heading to Afghanistan when they came under attack. No one was injured.

The gunmen fled after the attack while firing in the air to keep the people away.

Fire fighters were called out to extinguish the blaze. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The government blames militants for attacks on NATO supply trucks and oil tankers.

Attacks on NATO vehicles in the country’s insurgency-hit northwest and southwest are common.

It is second attack on NATO trucks in Pakistan in two days.

On Tuesday, two people were killed when gunmen torched an oil tanker carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan in southwestern Baluchistan province.

Hundreds of tankers and trucks daily cross into Afghanistan from Pakistan to carry oil and other items for some 150,000 US-led NATO forces there.

Pakistan is the shortest supply route to Afghanistan and officials say that around 70 percent items are supplied to NATO forces via Pakistan.

The US has struck deals with Russia and some Central Asian states for alternate supply routes in view of the attacks on NATO trucks in Pakistan.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30609827

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