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Pakistani Militants Destroy NATO, US  Army Vehicles


Authorities in Pakistan say that scores of suspected Taliban militants attacked and destroyed more than 100 trucks loaded with supplies and military vehicles for NATO and U.S troops in neighboring Afghanistan. A security guard was also killed in the attack.

The pre-dawn Taliban raid took place at a logistics terminal in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar where dozens of trucks carrying Humvees and other military vehicles were parked.

The terminal manager, Kifayatullah Khan, tells VOA there were a total of 106 vehicles and the heavily armed men destroyed all of them before fleeing the scene.

"There were around 300 people who came and attacked the terminal. They first fired on our main gate with a rocket, damaging the gate and making their entrance," Khan said. "When they entered the terminal they started firing in different directions. One of our security guards was killed in the incident."

More than 70 percent of supplies for NATO and U.S forces stationed in landlocked Afghanistan are trucked through Peshawar after they are unloaded from ships at the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi. But the supplies have come under frequent attacks by Taliban militants at logistic terminals in and around Peshawar as well as while passing through the Khyber Pass.

Pakistani authorities suspended traffic through the Khyber Pass for several days in November after militants hijacked more than a dozen trucks on the their way to Afghanistan.

Sunday's raid is being described by many in the region as the most serious of the recent such attacks. It has fueled concerns that Taliban militants are tightening their hold in and around Peshawar and could choke the supply route.

The U.S military says its losses in the latest raid will have only a "minimal" impact on its operations against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is a close ally in the U.S-led war against terrorism. Its troops are engaged in anti-Taliban operations in the volatile tribal areas bordering Afghanistan where militants have their strongholds. Insurgents have retaliated by launching suicide and other attacks, killing hundreds of Pakistani security personnel as well as civilians.