Militants torch NATO supplies in Pakistan; 20 trucks reduced to ashes - Exclusive images
By Farzana Shah- Asian Tribune correspondent in Pakistan
Peshawar, 16 March, (Asiantribune.com): Militants attacked a NATO supply terminal and set fire to about 20 trucks carrying supplies to Western forces in Afghanistan on Sunday.
Militants attacked the supply depot situated at Ring Road in the jurisdiction of Yakatoot Police Station, Peshawar-- capital of North West Frontier Province.
In a pre-dawn attack the militants used rockets, petrol bombs and also resorted to firing before setting the trucks ablaze.
"Several rockets were fired at the terminal, before, about more than 300 people came from Ring Road side at about 3:30am. They have parked their vehicles somewhere else as they were on foot. There were two watchmen guarding the terminal. The militants opened fire and broke the backside wall of the terminal. They threw petrol bombs setting fire to the trucks before fleeing", said an eyewitness Khalizaman.
The Station House Officer of Yakatoot Police Station, Gohar Ali said "It was 2.30 am when a rocket was fired and then the fire started."
The route from Peshawar up to the border through Khyber Pass is a vital and easiest supply routes for NATO forces in Afghanistan.
The militants chose to hit the nerve of NATO supplies as Pakistan is witnessing a political turmoil.
Keeping in view the ongoing mass protest launched by opposition parties and lawyers against the government, Pakistan suspended truck shipments of US military supplies through Khyber Pass.
The U.S. military sends 75 percent of supplies through or over Pakistan, including 40 percent of the fuel for its troops in Afghanistan.
The militants had stepped up attacks on NATO supply route in northwest Pakistan last year making it a vulnerable route as scores of attacks have been launched on the same route during last few months.
The vulnerability of the supply route through northwest Pakistan has forced United States to look for alternate routes.
Although US had an accord with Russia for supplies to its forces in Afghanistan but later has agreed to allow only food and non-lethal supplies across its territory. US is also working on finalisation of similar agreement with Tajikistan for transit of non-lethal supplies this month but despite these alternate routes US and NATO are uneasy over these routes because apart from being lengthy the new routes also cost them much more than what US is paying for supplies through Pakistan.
- Asian Tribune -