A Taliban force attacked a trucking terminal outside Peshawar and destroyed NATO vehicles and supplies destined for Afghanistan.
The late-night attack took place at the Port World Logistic terminal on Peshawar’s Ring Road, where 16 other terminals are also used as a transit point to ship supplies to Afghanistan. A Taliban force attacked the terminal with rocket-propelled grenades, petrol bombs, and small arms, and destroyed nine vehicles before retreating after an hour-long battle with security forces. Humvees, emergency vehicles, and other supplies were destroyed in the attack.
The late-night attack is the fourth Taliban strike against the trucking terminals in Peshawar since March 15. Taliban forces have destroyed more than 80 vehicles and other supplies during the four attacks.
The Taliban have conducted numerous attacks on the trucking terminals in Peshawar since late last year. After a rash of attacks in December 2008 that resulted in the destruction of more than 450 vehicles and containers, the Pakistani government had claimed it would increase security at the terminals as well as along the route in Khyber.
The previous attacks on the Peshawar terminals as well as the destruction of two vital bridges have resulted in the temporary closure of NATO’s supply route through the Khyber Pass numerous times since September 2008.
The government has launched multiple security operations in Peshawar and the neighboring Khyber tribal agency since last summer in an effort to push the Taliban out of the region. While the government claims the threat in Peshawar has been eliminated, the Taliban has stepped up attacks on police outposts and the trucking terminals.
NATO’s most vital resupply route for its forces in Afghanistan stretches from the Pakistani port city of Karachi to Peshawar, then on through the Khyber Pass to Kabul. More than 70 percent of NATO supplies and 40 percent of its fuel moves through Peshawar.
The US military has dismissed the attacks in Peshawar and Khyber as inconsequential, but the growing Taliban insurgency in the Northwest Frontier Province, coupled with the assault on the supply lines, has forced NATO to seek alternative supply routes into Afghanistan.
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