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The supply route is an important lifeline for international forces in landlocked Afghanistan.

The coalition ships a significant portion of its nonlethal supplies through Pakistan into southern Afghanistan. The other land route through northern Afghanistan, Central Asia and Russia is longer and more expensive.

The strike began Wednesday in response to the government’s decision to require truckers to go through authorized companies to carry NATO supplies instead of making individual deals with the government-run National Logistics Cell, said Jehanzeb Khan, head of a transport workers union in northwest Pakistan.

The companies pay the truckers less, Mr. Khan said. He also claimed the government was not providing adequate protection to the drivers from Taliban attacks, and each truck had to pay corrupt security officials about $165 in bribes to pass through the Khyber tribal area on the way to the border.

IRAQ

Border with Jordan shut, security cited as reason

BAGHDAD — Iraqi authorities citing security concerns closed the country’s only border crossing with Jordan on Wednesday, cutting a key route through a part of the country where anti-government protests have been raging.

Residents of Anbar province, center of the demonstrations, responded angrily. A provincial official said the region plans to file a lawsuit against the central government over the closure, which many residents believe is meant as pressure to end their protests.

Many Iraqi Sunnis complain of discrimination by the Shiite-dominated government.

The mass protests in Anbar — and increasingly elsewhere in the country — are the largest and most sustained demonstration of Sunni discontent since the U.S.-led invasion.

Sectarian tensions have boiled over into bloody attacks, nowadays mostly by Sunni extremists against Shiite residents and pilgrims, threatening the country’s stability.

From wire dispatches and staff reports