News / Asia

Pakistan to Reopen Supply Route for NATO Forces

Trucks carrying fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan burn following an attack by militants in the remote Mitri area, 180 km (112 miles) southeast of Quetta, 09 Oct 2010
Trucks carrying fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan burn following an attack by militants in the remote Mitri area, 180 km (112 miles) southeast of Quetta, 09 Oct 2010

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry says authorities will immediately reopen a vital supply route for NATO forces in Afghanistan, 10 days after it was shut following a cross-border air strike by coalition forces.

Pakistan closed the Torkhum border crossing in the northwest Khyber tribal region after NATO helicopters fired missiles at a Pakistani military post, killing two soldiers.

A joint NATO-Pakistani investigation determined the U.S. pilots mistook the soldiers for militants. The United States last week apologized for that strike.

The bottleneck resulting from the border closure has exposed stranded supply trucks to militant attacks.  Earlier Saturday, gunmen torched 29 NATO fuel tankers in southwest Pakistan, the latest in a string of attacks targeting key supply routes into Afghanistan.

Officials say more than 20 gunmen launched Saturday's ambush while the tankers were parked outside a roadside hotel in Baluchistan province.

Militants have attacked NATO supply trucks nearly every day since Pakistan closed the Torkhum crossing last week. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for some of the assaults.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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