Dozens of NATO oil tankers destroyed on Pakistani-Afghan border

Other News Materials 23 March 2008 22:20 (UTC +04:00)

Dozens of tankers carrying oil for NATO forces were destroyed Sunday in a bomb blast targeting a Pakistani border crossing where they awaited clearance to enter Afghanistan, officials said. ( dpa )

"The explosion took place this evening when the oil tankers were parked in the parking lot of Torkham border in the tribal town of Landi Kotal. More than 60 tankers caught fire and 35 of these were completely destroyed," a government official Bismillah Khan told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

At least two people were killed and more than 50 injured in the attack and the government officials deployed at the border crossing vacated the compound, he added.

The Afghan National Army had dispatched two fire brigade vehicles as the fire had spread to more vehicles.

Many of the tankers carrying oil for NATO in Afghanistan come through Khyber pass in tribal area adjoining Peshawer, the capital of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).

They have been increasingly targeted by Taliban insurgents operating along the border area in recent months.

Up to three oil tankers were either destroyed or damaged every month in similar attacks during the past 12 months, Khan told dpa last week.

Pakistan's tribal areas are believed to be safe-havens for al-Qaeda terrorists and Taliban fighters who fled to the region in 2001 when the United States invaded Afghanistan, where they launched cross border attacks on NATO-led international forces.