Gunmen torch NATO tankers, kill driver in Pakistan

08:44, March 17, 2011      

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The wreckage of a NATO oil tanker is seen after attack near southwest Pakistan's Mastung on March 16, 2011. Four tankers carrying oil for NATO forces were set on fire on early Wednesday morning in the Ghuaja Dhori area of Mastung, killing a driver and injuring another. (Xinhua/Iqbal Hussain)

Unidentified gunmen in southwestern Pakistan Wednesday torched four oil tankers that carried fuel for NATO troops in the neighboring Afghanistan, and killed a driver, police and witnesses said.

The armed men opened fire at tankers parked outside a roadside restaurant in Mastung district, some 60 kilometers south of Quetta, the provincial capital, they said.

The tankers caught fire and four were torched. A driver was killed and a cleaner injured in firing, police said. The injured was taken to a nearby hospital.

An official in Mastung, Muhamamd Ismail, said that four armed men, riding two motorcycles, arrived at the restaurant and opened fire on the tankers. The gunmen fled after the incident.

Officials said that the tankers were empty at the time of the attack and had returned from Afghanistan after delivering oil.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban militants usually carry out attacks on NATO supply lorries across Pakistan.

The repeated attacks on NATO convoys have put NATO under heavy pressure as nearly 70 percent of its supplies and 40 percent of its fuel are being transported through Pakistan to some 150,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan.

In Oct. 2010, Pakistan closed main NATO supplies route as a protest over the killing of three soldiers by NATO helicopters in a border region. The route was reopened after the U.S. formally tendered apology.

The United States has struck a deal with Russia for an alternate supply route in view of frequent attacks in Pakistan.

Source: Xinhua

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