Pakistani security forces stop 100 NATO tankers in tribal areas

14:35, July 22, 2010      

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At least 100 NATO oil tankers were stopped by Pakistani security forces Thursday in Khyber tribal agency in northwest Pakistan, local media said, citing official sources.

The tankers were stopped from moving ahead into Afghanistan at Takhtabai in Jamrud area for safety reasons, as the sluggish customs clearance on the Afghan side of the border at Torkham has created a long line of trucks, officials said.

Jamming of trucks caravan raise serious security concerns as the NATO supply trucks have been a frequent target of terrorist attacks. During the past couple of months, over a dozen terrorist attacks resulted in destruction of some 70 container trucks and oil tankers across the country.

On the midnight of June 8, some 60 NATO trucks were burnt to ashes in a single terrorist attack near the capital city Islamabad.

While sporadic incidents in the southwest Balochistan province armed motorcycle riding terrorists frequently ambush NATO trucks carrying supplies for 140,000 multinational forces fighting insurgency in Afghanistan since the ouster of Taliban regime in 2001.

Pakistan provides the shortest route of over a 1,000 miles stretch from Arabian Sea to Torkham at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border for NATO supplies into Afghanistan. Over 70 percent of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) supplies are shipped through Pakistan into Afghanistan.

In view of the increased frequency of attacks on NATO truck caravans alternative supply routes are being considered for safer route into war torn Afghanistan through Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Russia, a dirt route through Wakhan from China. A route from Iran could not be considered viable in the backdrop of Iran's strained relations with the west.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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