- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN (AP) - Up to 50 militants attacked a terminal for trucks carrying supplies to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan early Monday, in the second such assault in northwest Pakistan in two days.

Rising Taliban attacks have raised doubts about the reliability of critical supply routes through Pakistan, prompting the U.S. and NATO to seek alternatives.

Up to 50 assailants attacked the al-Fasil terminal early Monday, outnumbering security guards, before throwing gasoline over 10 container trucks carrying supplies and setting off explosions, said guard Janab-e-aali. There were no reports of injuries or deaths.

“They disarmed all the guards and warned us not to be smart, they snatched our weapons too,” the guard said.

It was unclear if the torched supplies were destined for foreign troops in Afghanistan or for the Western-backed Afghan army, which uses similar imported equipment.

On Sunday, attackers at another terminal in the city burned about 20 vehicles, including several Humvees.

Afghan-based U.S. and NATO forces get up to 75 percent of their supplies via routes through Pakistan.

Suspected Taliban militants have repeatedly struck transport depots near Peshawar in recent months, destroying scores of military vehicles, while attacks on the road through the Khyber Pass to the Afghan border have repeatedly forced its temporary closure.

U.S. and NATO officials insist the attacks have little impact on their operations, but are looking at ways to bring more supplies into Afghanistan through Central Asia.



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