Pakistan closes major NATO supply route through Khyber Pass

January 14th, 2009 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Jan 14 (DPA) Pakistan Wednesday temporarily closed a vital supply route for Western troops in landlocked Afghanistan, officials said.Traffic on the passage running through Pakistan’s restive Khyber tribal district was halted by security forces in the early morning as they continued a sweep to clear the area of Taliban militants launching regular attacks on trucks carrying NATO supplies.

“Hundreds of security personnel are taking part in the operation which will be hopefully completed in the next 48 hours,” said Amirzada Khan, a government official in Khyber.

The action came a day after Islamist militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at a truck terminal outside the north-western city of Peshawar, where the NATO supply trucks are usually parked overnight before moving through Khyber district to the
Afghan border.

Raids by Islamist insurgents on caravans have repeatedly disrupted supplies of fuel, equipment and other items for NATO troops in Afghanistan through the Khyber Pass. More than 400 trucks and containers have been torched or plundered, while three drivers were
killed last month.

According to the US State Department, up to 75 percent of the US’s military supplies, including 40 percent of the fuel for its troops stationed in Afghanistan, go through the famous Khyber Pass route.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |