Taliban raiders destroyed another NATO supply column at a shipping terminal in the insurgency-wracked Northwest Frontier Province. The latest attack has caused Pakistan to shut down the NATO supply route through Peshawar.
The Taliban launched an attack on the Bilal Terminal on Peshawar’s Ring Road early Monday morning Pakistan time. More than 50 vehicles laden with supplies destined for NATO were destroyed after a Taliban force stormed the compound and burned the vehicles, a senior US intelligence source told The Long War Journal. The size of the Taliban unit is unknown.
Taliban fighters also fired rocket propelled grenades at NATO convoys passing through the area, however no vehicles were reported damaged.
The attack at the Bilal Terminal is the third such strike in two days. Early Sunday, the Taliban destroyed more than 160 NATO vehicles, including an estimated 60 to 70 Humvees, in two separate attacks on the Portward Logistic Terminal and the Al Faisal Terminal in Peshawar. An estimated 200 to 300 Taliban fighters stormed the Portward terminal, while the size of the attack force at the Al Faisal Terminal is unknown.
Pakistani security forces were not protecting the Bilal Terminal despite yesterday’s attacks. The Pakistani government said NATO convoys would be accompanied and protected by Pakistani military units.
A US military spokeswoman described yesterday’s attacks in Peshawar as “militarily insignificant.” More than 70 percent of NATO supplies destined for Afghanistan move through Peshawar.
Today’s attack has prompted the Pakistani government to close down the vital NATO supply route from Peshawar to Kabul, according to Press TV. This is the second time the Khyber Pass supply route has been closed since Nov. 11.
The Pakistani government shut down the vital Khyber Pass crossing two other times this year. The first time, the government closed the crossing to protest US airstrikes against Taliban and al Qaeda operatives sheltering in the tribal areas. The second time was in response to the poor security situation.
The Taliban have stepped up their attacks on NATO supply lines moving through Peshawar over the past several months. The Taliban are also stepping up pressure on the Peshawar. Police and government officials fear they have lost control of the security situation in the provincial capital.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.