20 oil tankers burnt in rocket attack
16 September, 2013
KARACHI: At least twenty oil tankers were gutted in a rocket attack in Balochistan on Sunday.
According to the police, the oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO forces were heading to Afghanistan from Karachi when armed men intercepted them and set them on fire before fleeing. The oil tankers were incinerated, however, there was no loss of life. Police and fire brigade personnel reached the site and tried to extinguish the fire. The attacked happened at the RCD Highway. Traffic on the Karachi-Quetta highway was suspended after the attack.
The oil tankers were carrying supplies for NATO troops stationed in Afghanistan. Police said the tankers were torched by unidentified motorcyclists who targeted them with rockets in the Sohrab District near Kalat. Pakistan and United States have signed a deal to allow NATO convoys to travel into landlocked Afghanistan using the land route through Pakistan until the end of 2015. NATO supplies have been targeted several times by the militants in Afghanistan.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Militants groups are blamed for attacks on NATO trucks. It was the second attack on the NATO containers in Balochistan in three days. Gunmen had attacked a convoy of NATO oil tankers in Balochistan on Friday, killing a driver and torching nine vehicles. The attackers fired rockets and bullets at the convoy of 15 oil tankers travelling from Karachi to Afghanistan.
The attack happened around 300 kilometres from Quetta. There was no claim of responsibility but the Taliban have in the past said they carry out such attacks to disrupt supplies for US-led NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan. The NATO combat mission is due to end next year.
Officials say that nearly 70 percent supplies are transported to Afghanistan for around 150,000 NATO troops through Pakistan, the shortest and cheap route.