Gunmen attack NATO supply trucks in Pakistan

QUETTA, Pakistan Tue Oct 5, 2010 11:51pm EDT

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QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Gunmen in Pakistan attacked and set fire to 20 trucks transporting supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan on Wednesday, police said, the latest in a series of attacks on the supply chain for the war in Afghanistan.

Pakistani authorities, angered by repeated incursions by NATO helicopters from Afghanistan, last week blocked a supply route for the troops in Afghanistan. The attack on fuel tankers on Wednesday took place along another route.

The NATO incursions and the border closure have raised tensions between the United States and Pakistan.

Fourteen gunmen in two pickup trucks opened fire on the tankers, destroying five and killing a driver, following attacks on other tankers claimed by Taliban militants on Sunday.

The bulk of supplies for the foreign forces in Afghanistan moves through Pakistan which is itself battling a deadly insurgency.

U.S. pressure on Pakistan to crack down harder on militants in its northwest tribal areas has been one source of friction between the two countries.

Pakistan's commitment to fighting militancy has again been called into question after Western intelligence agencies said an alleged al Qaeda plot to attack European cities involved militants who spent time in tribal areas on the Afghan border.

(Reporting by Gul Yusufzai; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Zeeshan Haider and Sanjeev Miglani)

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