Taliban torch 16 NATO tankers in Pakistan

Taliban torch 16 NATO tankers in Pakistan
Quetta: Taliban militants in southwestern Pakistan set ablaze 16 vehicles carrying fuel supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan today, officials said.

The convoy was attacked before dawn outside the town of Dera Murad Jamali, some 400 kilometres southeast of Quetta, the capital of restive Baluchistan province, local administration chief Abdul Fatah Khajjak said.

"The attackers, riding in a car, opened fire on oil tankers parked at a petrol pump waiting for daybreak to resume their journey to Afghanistan," Khajjak said.

Some 16 oil tankers caught fire, but two more parked a distance away were undamaged, he said. A driver's assistant was wounded by the gunfire.

Militants fled after the attack, Khajjak said. A security official confirmed the incident.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq in a phone call to AFP claimed responsibility for the attack.

"It is in retaliation to drone attacks in tribal areas," Tariq said from an undisclosed location in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.

"We will continue to attack NATO supply vehicles and warn those operating them to immediately stop doing it otherwise they may also be targeted," he said.

In 2010 the US doubled missile attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas, which it describes as the global headquarters of Al-Qaida, with around 100 drone strikes killing more than 650 people.