Taliban torch hundreds of fuel tankers in Kabul
Late last night in Kabul province, the Taliban destroyed hundreds of tankers and supply trucks carrying fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan.
The attack took place as the vehicles gathered at a trucking terminal in the Paghman district of Kabul province. Claiming credit for the attack, said the Taliban said they planted bombs on the trucks and then detonated the devices remotely.
"Mujahideen first planted the huge trucks, the tankers other vehicles with magnet, sticky and plastic bombs which were later detonated, triggering a huge fire that spread form [sic] one vehicle to another one and soon engulfed the entire supply terminal," the Taliban said in a statement released on Voice of Jihad.
The district police chief for Paghman told Pajhwok Afghan News that more than 400 trucks were destroyed in the blaze. Another 250 trucks were moved to safety, the police chief said.
The Taliban claimed that more than 600 trucks were destroyed and "a large number of the local security guards and the US-Nato invaders were killed." No casualties were reported by Afghan officials. The Taliban routinely exaggerate the effects of their operations.
The Taliban said last night's attack on the trucking terminal was "the fourth in a series of attacks targeting US-NATO supply terminal [sic] since the operation Khaibar began." Operation Khaibar is the Taliban's name for their spring 2014 offensive.
The Taliban also carried out two other successful high-profile attacks in Kabul this week. On July 2, a suicide bomber killed eight members of the Afghan National Air Force in an attack on a bus in the capital of Kabul.
And on July 3, a Taliban rocket team hit the military side of Kabul International Airport. Three Afghan helicopters were hit in the attack, including one used to transport President Hamid Karzai, which was destroyed. The attack caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.
In the south, the Taliban have gone on the offensive as part of an effort to retake key areas lost during during US and NATO military operations from 2010 to 2011. The Taliban still control much of Sangin, a strategic district in Helmand province, after launching an operation with more than 1,000 fighters on June 19.
As the Taliban step up their operations in Kabul and in the provinces, the US is preparing to withdraw its combat troops from Afghanistan. The US hopes to keep 9,800 troops for advisory and special operations missions in the country until the end of 2015. That number will be halved by the beginning of 2016, and then withdrawn by the end of that year. Currently there are an estimated 30,000 US troops in Afghanistan.