Wed, October 06, 2010
World > Middle East

Pakistan Taliban claims responsibility for NATO convoy attack in Quetta, Pakistan

2010-10-06 11:59:48 GMT2010-10-06 19:59:48 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Rescuers work at the site where NATO oil tankers were burned near southwest Pakistan's Quetta on October 6, 2010. At least one driver was killed as some twenty NATO oil tankers were attacked by unknown gunmen early Wednesday morning near Quetta, the fourth such attack in the country since last Friday. (Xinhua/M.Hassan)

ISLAMABAD, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility Wednesday afternoon for the attack on a NATO convoy earlier Wednesday near Pakistan's southwest city of Quetta, in which at least one was killed and 22 oil tankers were destroyed, according to local media reports.

So far Pakistan Taliban has claimed responsibility for the three of the four attacks on NATO convoys in the country since last Friday following a recent air strike by two NATO helicopters within Pakistani territory, which reportedly killed three Pakistani border soldiers and injured three others.

Early Wednesday morning, at about 6:00 a.m., some Taliban militants riding on motorcycles opened fire at a NATO convoy parked at a parking lot some 15-minute ride from Quetta, the capital city of Pakistan's southwest province of Balochistan.

Sources in Quetta told Xinhua that the NATO convoy attacked comprised 40 supply trucks and 22 oil tankers.

As the fire caused by the attack on the oil tankers is so huge that the local fire brigade had to seek reinforcement from nearby cities to put off the fire due to the fact that the city only had a dozen of fire engines, said sources.

Wednesday morning's attack on NATO supply trucks is the fourth of its kind since last Friday.

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, causing a strong protest from the Pakistani government over the NATO's violation of its territory right.

The Pakistani side 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, which has left hundreds of NATO supply trucks stalled on the road heading towards Afghanistan, making them extremely vulnerable for terrorist attacks.

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 leaving 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.

On Monday morning, nine militants riding on motorcycles attacked a NATO convoy parked nearby Pakistan's capital Islamabad, leaving 12 people killed and 28 trucks torched.

Following the attacks, Pakistan Taliban has not only quickly claimed the responsibility for three of the four attacks but also vowed to launch more attacks on NATO convoys in the country unless NATO will stop violations of Pakistan's territory.

The repeated attacks on NATO convoys have put NATO under heavy pressure as nearly 70 percent of NATO supplies and 40 percent of its fuel are reportedly being shipped through Pakistan to Afghanistan.

Local watchers believe that a comprise is likely to be made on the NATO side facing the pressure from the Pakistani side over NATO's violation of its territory right.

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