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28 NATO oil tankers attacked near Pakistan’s capital

October 4, 2010

At least 12 people were killed as 28 NATO oil tankers were attacked by unknown militants early Monday morning in Rawalpindi, a city near Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, reported local media.

According to the report, nine unknown militants riding on motorcycles opened fire at a NATO convoy nearby the DHA Phase II area of Rawalpindi, a city which is only about half-an-hour ride south of Islamabad. The attackers also pulled out of the people from the trucks and shot them dead, said eyewitnesses.

Monday morning’s attack on NATO supply trucks is the third of its kind and also the most serious of its kind over the past three days following the air strikes by NATO helicopters in Pakistan’s territory on Thursday, which killed three Pakistani troops and injured three others.

Early on Friday morning, some 20 militants attacked a NATO convoy with rockets in Shikarpur, a city in the northern part of Pakistan’s Sindh province, killing three people and having 27 NATO oil tankers completely burnt.

Later on Friday evening, another two NATO supply trucks were attacked by a rocket in the country’s southwest city of Khuzdar, during which two people were killed.

Following the attacks, Pakistan Taliban claimed the responsibility and threatened more attacks on NATO convoys if NATO did not stop its air strikes over the Pakistani territory.

On Thursday, two NATO helicopters shelled a check post of the Pakistani army in Kurram agency in the country’s northwest tribal area which borders Afghanistan, killing three border soldiers and injuring three others.

The incident has caused a strong protest from the Pakistani government which has not only sought explanation, apology and compensation for the incursion from the NATO side, but also ordered a blockade of the NATO convoys which supply goods to the U. S.-led NATO troops in Afghanistan via the land route of Pakistan, leaving hundreds of NATO trucks stuck on the road heading towards Afghanistan.

It is reported that nearly 70 percent of NATO supplies and 40 percent of its fuel are being shipped to Afghanistan via Pakistan. The blockade of the NATO convoys by the Pakistani government seems to have exercised an influence on the NATO side. It is reported by local media on Sunday that the blockade which has entered its fourth day is likely to end very soon, indicating a deal might have been clinched among the various parties concerned.

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