Pakistan blocks NATO supply to Afghanistan after airstrikes (Lead)

September 30th, 2010 - 4:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Sep 30 (IANS) Pakistan Thursday blocked a vital supply route for NATO oil tankers to Afghanistan, hours after a coalition force helicopter attacked a Pakistani border post killing three soldiers.

Senior security officials ordered the security forces at Torkham border to block oil tankers and trucks at a checkpoint sharing border with Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Dunya TV reported.

The decision was taken after a NATO air strike hit Mandato Khando post in Pakistan’s Kurram district Thursday morning, which killed three soldiers and injured three others.

NATO helicopters struck again in northwest Pakistan’s Kurram tribal area, Xinhua said citing a local media report.

All those killed and injured were from the paramilitary Frontier Corps, which is deployed to guard the border.

“Our forces have taken up suitable security measures to respond to such acts of aggression, which will be known to the people very soon,” DPA quoted a senior Frontier Corps official as saying.

It was the third alleged violation of Pakistani territory by NATO helicopters in less than a week, but the first attack on the military.

Over the weekend NATO helicopters targeted suspected militants retreating into Pakistan after an attack on international troops in Afghanistan. Dozens of alleged insurgents were killed.

Pakistan strongly condemned the violation of its sovereignty, and warned of an appropriate response.

The latest incident could intensify tensions between the US and Pakistan, allies against the Islamist insurgency in the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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