Gunmen attack Nato trucks near Pakistan capital

Suspected Taliban gunmen in Pakistan set fire to more than 50 trucks carrying supplies for Western forces in Afghanistan, killing at least seven people in the first such attack near the capital, police said today.

The Taliban have previously attacked trucks carrying supplies for US-led foreign forces in Pakistan's volatile northwest and southwest bordering Afghanistan, but this raid, less than 30 minutes' drive from Islamabad late yesterday, was unprecedented.

At least 10 gunmen arrived on motorbikes and small pickup trucks at a depot near Tarnol village, killing drivers and workers. The militants escaped, leaving the shells of supply trucks in flames.

"Seven people were killed and more than 50 trucks were set on fire," police official Ghulam Mustafa said. Six people were wounded.

The trucks were due to carry fuel, food and other supplies to Afghanistan. The trucks do not usually carry arms.

The assault underscores growing insecurity in Pakistan where the Taliban have unleashed a wave of suicide and bomb attacks across the country in retaliation for military offensives on their strongholds in the northwest.

Militants allied to the Pakistani Taliban killed more than 80 people in two brazen attacks on Ahmadiyya, a minority religious sect, in the eastern city of Lahore late last month.

But the latest attack comes after months of relative calm around the heavily guarded Pakistan capital and throws into question how safe Islamabad is from attack.

"This is surprising how close to Islamabad a group of so many militants have come, and got away with it," said Talat Masood, a retired general who is now a security analyst. "It shows there are serious security lapses."

The US military sends 75 percent of its supplies for the Afghan war through or over Pakistan, including 40 percent of the fuel for its troops.

The last attack on a convoy was in April when militants torched 12 lorries and killed four policemen in Punjab province.

The attacks, especially in the northwestern Khyber tribal region, have forced NATO to look for alternative routes, including through Central Asia.

Six security personnel were killed yesterday in an attack by militants in the northwestern Orakzai tribal region. The army killed 30 militants in a counter offensive, a spokesman for the paramilitary frontier corps said.

Another six militants and two soldiers were killed in clashes in the Mohmand tribal region near the Afghan border late yesterday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor