Pakistan: Khyber Pass to Re-open Soon
By VOA News
01 January 2009
Pakistani officials say they soon will reopen a main supply route for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Earlier this week, Pakistan launched an offensive against militants in the region and suspended truck shipments of military supplies through the Khyber Pass.
Khyber's top administrator Tariq Hayat said Thursday that authorities have achieved nearly all of their objectives in the offensive and that they expect to re-open the mountain road linking the two countries in the coming days.
Pakistani ground forces backed by helicopter gunships, tanks and artillery began targeting militant strongholds Tuesday. Hayat said they have destroyed more than 30 suspected militant hideouts and detained at least 15 people.
Militants have launched a series of attacks in recent weeks aimed at stopping supplies from reaching foreign troops in Afghanistan. They also have destroyed several supply depots in northwestern Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistani officials say a suspected U.S. missile strike has killed at least three people in northwest Pakistan.
The officials say two or three missiles from an unmanned aircraft, or drone, hit an area of South Waziristan Thursday.
Pakistan has accused the United States of using drones to carry out several attacks on suspected terrorist targets this year. Washington has never confirmed nor denied the attacks.
Separately Thursday, Pakistani officials said three Pakistani troops and at least eight insurgents were killed during a clash with militants in southwestern Baluchistan province.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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