Blasts destroy NATO tankers, shops in Pakistan: officials | world | Hindustan Times
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Blasts destroy NATO tankers, shops in Pakistan: officials

world Updated: Jul 17, 2009 14:27 IST

Suspected Taliban militants planted bombs in northwest Pakistan that destroyed two tankers supplying fuel to NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, officials said Friday.

The incident took place in restive Khyber, one of seven semi-autonomous tribal regions in northwest Pakistan bordering Afghanistan.

"A convoy of seven tankers was on its way to Afghanistan when one of the tankers blew up and caught fire, killing a fruit vendor and burning at least 50 shops in a nearby market," local government official Rehan Gul Khattak said.

He said another tanker exploded near Landi Kotal, the main town in Khyber, after militants planted another bomb.

A cleaner accompanying the second truck sustained burn wounds, he added.

Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the blasts.

Militants have carried out a series of strikes against supplies for US and NATO-led foreign forces fighting against a Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

The bulk of supplies and equipment required by the foreign troops across the border are shipped through northwest Pakistan's tribal region of Khyber.

US officials say northwest Pakistan has become a safe haven for Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants who fled the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan and have regrouped to launch attacks on foreign troops across the border.