Militants blow up NATO oil tanker in Pakistan: police

Suspected Islamist militants armed with guns and rockets on Monday blew up a tanker carrying fuel through Pakistan for NATO troops based in neighbouring Afghanistan, police said.

Pakistani fire fighters trying to extinguish burning oil tanker carrying fuel supplies for NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

Several armed men lobbed a rocket and then opened fire on the supply convoy on the outskirts of Pakistan's northwestern city Peshawar, senior police officer Imtiaz Ahmed said.

"The attack triggered a huge fire and destroyed one tanker. Its driver escaped unhurt but his helper was wounded," he said.

In a subsequent exchange of fire lasting up to an hour, Pakistani security forces killed a militant, another police officer Karim Khan said.

Police did not immediately identify the assailants, but the Taliban and members of local militant group Lashkar-e-Islam regularly attack NATO supply vehicles on the main route through northwest Pakistan.

Lashkar-e-Islam is active in the lawless region of Khyber, which is just outside Peshawar and part of Pakistan's tribal belt snaking along the Afghan border that Washington has branded the headquarters of Al-Qaeda leaders.

About 80 percent of supplies destined for the 121,000 US and NATO troops in landlocked Afghanistan pass through Pakistan.

US officials consider northwest Pakistan a haven for Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants who fled the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan to regroup and launch attacks on foreign troops across the border.

Source: AFP

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