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Mon Aug 6, 2012 7:29AM
Smoke and flame rise from burning NATO supply trucks after they were attacked by armed militants on the outskirts of Quetta on September 27, 2011.

Smoke and flame rise from burning NATO supply trucks after they were attacked by armed militants on the outskirts of Quetta on September 27, 2011.

Unidentified gunmen have killed a driver of a NATO oil container and injured two others in Pakistan’s troubled northwestern region on the Afghan border, Press TV reports. Three gunmen on board a vehicle attacked a convoy of NATO oil containers in Terri Bazar area of Jamrud town in Khyber tribal district on Monday, bringing to halt NATO traffic for a few hours. The assailants managed to escape from the scene and the police cordoned off the location of the attack. No group has claimed responsibility for the assault. Pakistan police, however, points the finger of blame at Taliban militants, who have previously conducted similar assaults on the NATO trucks heading to Afghanistan. Pakistan had been the main supply route for US-led forces occupying Afghanistan from October 2001 to November 2011, during which 150 to 200 trucks entered Afghanistan every day. Islamabad shut down the NATO supply lines to neighboring Afghanistan, where almost 130,000 US-led forces are stationed, after US launched airstrikes on two Pakistani military checkpoints near the Afghan border in November 2011, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers. The deadly incident heightened tensions between the two allies, with Pakistan demanding a US apology, which was snubbed by Washington. Pakistan, however, agreed to reopen the NATO supply routes to Afghanistan on July 3 after the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologized to Pakistan in a statement over the killing of the soldiers. Paksitan's decision to reopen the NATO supply routes to Afghanistan triggered wide scale protests across the country, with people and Islamic groups demanding the government to close the routes permanently. NK/AO/MA
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