Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gunmen torch Nato trucks

Trucks carrying fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan burn following an attack by militants in the remote Mitri area, 180kmsoutheast of Quetta. -- PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA (Pakistan) - GUNMEN in south-western Pakistan set fire to nearly 30 tankers carrying fuel for Nato troops in Afghanistan on Saturday, an official said, two days after the United States apologised to Pakistan for a cross-border air raid that killed two Pakistani soldiers.

Suspected Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on convoys carrying supplies for Nato forces since the Sept 30 Nato air strike in north-western Pakistan described by the US ambassador as a terrible accident.

About 20 gunmen set fire to around 30 tankers parked outside at a roadside restaurant near the south-western town of Sibi in a pre-dawn attack, the official said.

The tankers were on their way to the border town of Chaman.

'The attackers first fired shots and then fired small rockets at the tankers. Twenty-eight to 29 tankers caught fire,' local government official Naeem Sherwani told Reuters.

He said one of the paramilitary soldiers escorting the convoy was wounded. The U.S.-backed Pakistani government is battling Taleban insurgents who remain effective despite military crackdowns on their strongholds in the north-west near the Afghan border. -- REUTERS

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