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Quetta/Nowshera, More Then 50 tankers torched

Nato tanks pakistan newsQUETTA / NOWSHERA: More than 50 Nato oil tankers carrying fuel for US and allied forces in Afghanistan were torched in attacks in Quetta and Nowshera on Wednesday.

In the pre-dawn Quetta attack, 25 tankers were burnt and a driver was killed. The tankers were parked at a private terminal in Akhtarabad area, along the Western Bypass.

According to sources, over a dozen gunmen fired two rockets. This was followed by heavy firing which caused a huge fire.

“I heard two huge explosions after half an hour of heavy firing,” Amir Mohammad Kakar, who runs a roadside restaurant, told Dawn. More vehicles caught fire after a burning oil tanker exploded.

The banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. Talking to journalists by telephone, a spokesman threatened that the TTP would intensify the attacks to avenge US drone attacks.

Balochistan police chief Malik Iqbal said police and Levies could not provide full security to Nato supplies from Karachi to Chaman because they had limited resources.

“Nato is not providing any help to Balochistan police and Levies for extending security to its supplies,” he told reporters.

The sources said 45 tankers going from Karachi to the border were parked in the terminal where private security men were deployed. The drivers and staff of the terminal were sleeping when the attackers opened fire.

A driver died of bullet injuries and the security men fled, after which the armed men entered the terminal and torched several tankers.

“At least 14 armed men had arrived on two pick-ups,” DIG (Operation) Hamid Shakeel said.

In Nowshera, district police chief Nisar Tanoli said that at least 26 tankers parked along the Grand Trunk Road had caught fire after the attack in Khairabad. The fire also engulfed a nearby hotel, witnesses said.

Local people said they heard loud explosions and gun shots before fire broke out at the place southeast of Peshawar.

The Islamabad-Peshawar highway was closed and fire-brigade vehicles were called in from Peshawar and Nowshera.

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