Rocket Fire: 42 NATO tankers, containers torched in Quetta

Published: December 8, 2011
Firefighters extinguish burning NATO supply oil tankers and goods trucks at a terminal following an attack by gunmen in Quetta on December 8, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

Firefighters extinguish burning NATO supply oil tankers and goods trucks at a terminal following an attack by gunmen in Quetta on December 8, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

Firefighters extinguish burning NATO supply oil tankers and goods trucks at a terminal following an attack by gunmen in Quetta on December 8, 2011. PHOTO: AFP Firefighters extinguish burning NATO supply oil tankers and goods trucks at a terminal following an attack by gunmen in Quetta on December 8, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA: At least 42 Nato oil tankers and containers were torched after armed men fired two rockets at them in the Kharotabad area of Quetta on Thursday.

As many as 32 oil tankers and 10 containers, carrying fuel and military hardware for Nato forces in Afghanistan, were parked in a terminal on the Airport Road when a group of armed men fired two rockets, followed by intense firing.

Initially, a few oil tankers caught fire that eventually engulfed nearby oil tankers and containers too.

“At least 32 oil tankers and 10 containers carrying necessary supply for Nato forces were destroyed in the attack,” CCPO Mehbob Ehsan told The Express Tribune.

Fire tenders rushed to the spot soon after the incident and tried to extinguish the blaze. However, the fire could not be brought under control till this report was filed.

According to reports, the armed men managed to flee from the scene after carrying out the attack.

No casualties have been reported yet.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack but the Taliban have taken responsibility for carrying out similar attacks in the past to disrupt supplies for more than 130,000 US-led international troops fighting in Afghanistan.

According to official sources, as many as 119 oil tankers and 111 containers carrying fuel and military hardware for Nato forces are parked in different terminals of Quetta for the past 13 days since Pakistan suspended the supply.

(Read: Factbox: NATO supply routes into Afghanistan – some facts)

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (54)

  • Fahad Raza
    Dec 8, 2011 - 10:42PM

    Oh is the temperature so low in Quetta…??!


  • khalis
    Dec 8, 2011 - 10:48PM

    if the oil for the nato thru pakistan is considered export then pakistan lost much foreign exchange tonight.
    i think nato only pays pakistan once the consignment reaches afghanistan else they would be shouting aloud since long over the nato tanker attacks.

    watever, pakistani businessmen lost 42 tankers


  • Malik
    Dec 8, 2011 - 10:49PM

    ahahaha…. only a matter of time till this happened…


  • صراط المستقیم
    Dec 8, 2011 - 10:53PM

    MashaAllah that is great , burn them all from karachi to khyber and no more supplies for nato and US. Time to get out of this WOT.


  • pinky
    Dec 8, 2011 - 11:02PM

    a lesser known aspect of terrorism; air pollution


  • Latif
    Dec 8, 2011 - 11:30PM

    What a waste.Recommend

  • antanu
    Dec 8, 2011 - 11:53PM

    absolute foolishness….but then when human lives have no importance…what are the materials for monsters.


  • MarkH
    Dec 8, 2011 - 11:58PM

    I’m surprised they lasted this long. Have fun with the cleanup.


  • Guddu
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:06AM

    Another huge loss to the people of Pak. The economy is already going to the dogs and not this. I never thought that Pak will be in a Stone Age so soon.


  • CommonSense
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:08AM

    Subtle warning to Americans to speed up the inquiry and coax an apology? It worked before and it will work now too. SO msg to all those cynical Indian commenters. When it comes to Afghanistan, WE as in Pakistan and NOT Americans, NOT Indians, are the ones with the upper hand and leverage and this is going to pretty much play out the way we want it to, whether you like it or not. So buckle up and be nice to us!!!


  • ahsan
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:15AM

    well done ISI …….


  • Ali
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:25AM

    @Khalis Pakistan and Pakistanis would have lost a lot more had the consignment had reached Afghanistan


  • Shameel Baloch
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:27AM

    NATO trucks have damaged Pakistan’s National Highways for which Pakistan has not been compensated. NATO pays no tax for use of Pakistan’s Highways. The disadvantages of NATO traffic through Pakistan outweighs the advantages. The cost to Pakistan resulting from the Afghan War is close to $100 billion. And this war is sustained by these NATO supplies.


  • Lee
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:30AM

    Hey Pakistani , everyone is stupid ? Taliban is spy of USA . Now they are attacking USA troops from pakistan land so that USA can create an excuse , then can invade Pakistan or can enter into pakistani land or at least can keep huge no of troops . Consequently USA will disarm pakisan they will snatch Nuclear weapons . Be prepared for war


  • Nomi
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:30AM

    Those Pakistani businessmen – should not be involved in this business if they are Pakisatni.


  • Raj
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:36AM

    So now Goods in Transit. witheld by Pakitanis in their Sovereignty, being destroyed by unknown elements !!!!
    May be NATO should consider further Airstrikes in the region too !!!!


  • Dec 9, 2011 - 12:44AM

    Dear forum readers,

    It is easy to see that while we are trying to recover from the tragic incident on November 26th, the terrorists are busy trying to achieve their evil objectives. This attack on NATO fuel trucks joins their long list of crimes and proves that unless we continue to tighten the grip around their neck, the region will continue to be plagued with their acts of terror. Just a couple of days ago, we witnessed a twin suicidal attack on the other side of the border in Afghanistan that left at least 58 people dead and many injured. And now this attack once again proves the need to continue our mission against the common threat. We completely understand that the “Salala” incident has been a big setback to our efforts in the region and forced many to question our alliance. But it is important to note that those who would really wish to see us part ways are not wasting any time taking advantage of the moment and will continue to do so, until we redirect our attention back to our common objectives. The question we need to ask ourselves is, who is really winning here?


  • Dec 9, 2011 - 12:46AM

    @صراط المستقیم:

    MashaAllah that is great , burn them all from karachi to khyber and no more supplies for nato and US. Time to get out of this WOT.

    Burn them all, i.e. enjoy criminal Taliban Kharjites sabotage rule of law and burn Pakistan and Pakistanis along with it and take over Af-Pak and let terror reign.


  • Cautious
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:50AM

    If your going to just sit back and let the terrorist destroy the tankers — why not just confiscate them and use them for some good. Better yet — why not let NATO to protect its own tankers – or at least provide a credible reason why you won’t allow that.


  • Loyal to Pakistan
    Dec 9, 2011 - 1:16AM

    Tribune is misleading the Pakistani public again. Groups like TTP(Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan), Al-Qaida, LI(Lashkar-e-Islam) etc, who are fightng Pakistani forces in Pakistan never attack or have attacked NATO containers in Pakistan. I wonder sometimes “WHY”? Do they have an understanding with NATO not attack their containers in Pakistan? TTP, LI, Al-Qaida don’t engage in the fighting in Afghanistan against NATO and in return USA does not do drone attacks against TTP,LI etc in FATA. Only “Afghan Taliban” are fighting the NATO forces in Afghanistan. I hope I have made the picture a little more clearer.
    As for the question,”Who is burning the containers”? My guess is that these are the elements that are really against NATO and the US, and want them out of Afghanistan. Think hard and you will figure it out.


  • Hu Jintao
    Dec 9, 2011 - 1:54AM



  • Loyal to Pakistan
    Dec 9, 2011 - 1:59AM

    Are you for real? You are saying that Pakistan should let NATO troops into our country to protect their containers, “NO WAY” and Paksitan does not need to give a reason. Pakistan should permanantly stop NATO supplies and our friends at NATO should get all their supplies through central Asian states(NATO always braggs that they have this option, then use it girls).


  • Zhang
    Dec 9, 2011 - 2:05AM

    @Hu Jintao

    If these are your words I am strongly aginist (sorry we cannot vote for our leaders, cummunists). We Chinese need peace not a warmonger as a presitent. resign now


  • Faraz
    Dec 9, 2011 - 2:50AM

    It is quite unsettling how the masters controlling the strings of these militants operate. They really do not care about national image or reputation — if they did, they have far better mechanisms to pressurize NATO.


  • IsmailTara
    Dec 9, 2011 - 3:03AM

    @ US Centcom You created the terrorists. You create more everyday.


  • Babloo
    Dec 9, 2011 - 3:08AM

    Shock and awe … Pakistani style.


  • Boy
    Dec 9, 2011 - 3:25AM

    This is… Not the way to do it. The uneducated do these things. Who are they actually causing a waste to. Btw this oil was destined to get burned, in the engine or this way. The air pollution factor does not count here.


  • MarkH
    Dec 9, 2011 - 4:01AM

    @Loyal to Pakistan:
    That’s an interesting combination of certainty and admitted guesses that clash perfectly to create a waste of a good joke.


  • Nadir
    Dec 9, 2011 - 5:25AM

    All they have done is burn Pakistani trucks and only Pakistani drivers will suffer. I am sure America must be trembling!!


  • pakistani baloch
    Dec 9, 2011 - 5:58AM

    we could have utilized thz oil


  • OmarSharif
    Dec 9, 2011 - 6:05AM

    @US Centcom:
    Dear Centcom,

    Loss of life on Nov 26 is highly regrettable. There is a senseless, meaningless cycle of violence going on with no end in sight. Unless people change their minds And renounce violence it will continue. Changing the attitude of an entire society is a tall order – I wonder whether it can be achieved in a short period of time when there is so much opposition,

    Well, I wish all of you return to US without any further loss of life or casualty on either side. tankers can be replaced- people cannot be. God speed and God bless.


  • Syed Irfan Ali Shah
    Dec 9, 2011 - 6:19AM

    Mr. Centcom,
    Please leave our land.If you are fighting war of your interests, then we are not interested in your interests. Are we clear and loud? LEAVE OUR LAND

  • Usman
    Dec 9, 2011 - 6:23AM

    I hope the tankers are insured so the poor owners get some compensation for this.


  • Hu Jintao
    Dec 9, 2011 - 7:34AM

    by region you mean like india?


  • Dec 9, 2011 - 7:44AM

    Sweet fumes of success.


  • Guy whose office was next to WTC
    Dec 9, 2011 - 7:49AM

    @صراط المستقیم:

    MashaAllah that is great , burn them all from karachi to khyber and no more supplies for nato and US. Time to get out of this WOT.

    Do the world a favor along with them burn the terrorist camps as well that exists in whole of Pakistan. Please for god’s sake do not deny there are no camps.

    If you cannot do it then somebody else has to come and clean up the stench and do not complain. Nobody has fun going to war, it is the last option that the thrust upon.

    I am also an Indian troll from Hyderabad. Tired of the hearing bombs blowing up where I grew up and where I am living and for that matter in Afpak.

    Anybody’s heart will wilt after the seeing the picture of the girl in green dress in Kabul surrounded by dead bodies, Did you ever think of preventing that? What kind of ANIMALS will do that of thing? It is not first time this kind of event took place in these countries. My humble request is to think hard and prevent them with in the country and across the world.

    My only hope is ISAF/NATO succeed in doing that and for that matter best wishes to any party trying to bring semblence to these areas.



  • Observer
    Dec 9, 2011 - 7:50AM

    @Syed Irfan Ali Shah:

    “Mr. Centcom,
    Please leave our land.If you are fighting war of your interests, then we are not interested in your interests. Are we clear and loud? LEAVE OUR LAND”

    You may be clear and loud, but you are barking at the wrong tree. Nato is there because of the agreement with the Pakistani establishment. The Establishment gave Nato the permission to use Pak faciities in return for billions of dollars.

    I think you should be LOUD and CLEAR to your own Establishment who pocketed billions of dollars in an agreement, and not Nato.Recommend

  • Street View
    Dec 9, 2011 - 7:54AM

    Thanks to Taliban – Dr Malik


  • Amjad
    Dec 9, 2011 - 9:29AM

    @Guy whose office was next to WTC: Perhaps you first need to stop terrorizing the innocent people of occupied Kashmir and stop supporting Indian terrorists who enter Pakistan from your lackeys in Afghanistan. Then your comments would matter. Otherwise, take a look at India’s record of ignoring the rights of occupied Kashmir and feel shame.


    Dec 9, 2011 - 11:15AM

    It is quite disgusting to note that many Pakistanis are acknowledging satisfaction on destruction of NATO tankers and containers. What does Pakistan gain by these mindless acts of the militants which might have some sort of consent of an establishment ? I am sure that such incidents would have even more negative impact on already deteriorating relations with US besides the same might adversely affect the much needed aid being recieved from this country since Pakistan cannot survive without it.


  • Furqan
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:21PM

    There all insured it doesn’t matter…oh yeah and there are big players who do this by purpose to claim the insurance.


  • zezu
    Dec 9, 2011 - 12:59PM

    Good!! Burn them and get the insurance money.


  • Dec 9, 2011 - 1:45PM

    RS Johar
    Our relations will never improve ! Americans have used us, and many others, like a toilet role and then flushed down the hole !


  • Raj
    Dec 9, 2011 - 1:48PM

    @Hu Jintao:
    Well i leave that to your vivid imagination shall I???
    I don’t see any NATO issues at present with India in the region ! So who else is left????
    Bangla desh, Sri lanka and Nepal too can be discarded fromthe list ! The Chinese are simply too bust at present with their economic powerhouse.


  • Well said Fahad Raza


  • BTW any statement from NATO on this ?


  • Jp
    Dec 9, 2011 - 5:36PM

    Who lost? It is pakistan’s money. Pak govt is responsible for the safety & security of the consignments till it reach the Afghan checkpost. I have seen some comments glorifying the attack. Commenting without knowing the facts.


  • Meekal Ahmed
    Dec 9, 2011 - 7:07PM

    Bound to happen. They are sitting ducks.


  • Ahmed
    Dec 10, 2011 - 10:37AM

    @Lee: Hey American, or whoever you are… Mind your own business! When we need any more advice from you guys, we will holler. This resurgence of Pakistani pride is going to hurt you and Indians the most. Your remarks betray a lot of anxiety. Nice!


  • Dec 11, 2011 - 3:24AM


    Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! You are right…the Americans are shrewed business people.Certainly they are applying their UCC(Uniform Commercial Code),according to which price of the purchased goods has to be rendered at DELIVERY of the goods,e.g. when the tankers reach their destination.

    Nevertheless …we do not know what the contracts between NATO and the Pakistani companies(who maintain the routes) state,therefore it is possible,that we,here,in Western Europe,are paying for oil,burned in Pakistan.


  • Dec 11, 2011 - 3:42AM

    @US Centcom:

    On the show”Global exchange” John Defterious (ancor at CNN) said,that US geophysicists

    estimate millions of tones of ores in Afghanistan. They are saying,that the Afghani mountains are full of gold,cooper,nickel,iron ore and other precious and semiprecious stines.

    So….what the mining companies want is to exploit these natural recources.I heard ,that an Indian mining company got a license from the Afghani Government to start mining operation there..
    NOT just Indians…also the Chinese,the Australians(they are operating a cooper mine in Afghanistan) and other companies want to do mining there.

    It will benefit the Afgani people,if there is PEACE and stability in the country.

    The West(especially the USA) are speaking of reviving the SILK ROAD,because they need a route to get the ores out of Afghanistan.

    You,Pakistani and Afghanistani,should profit from this….it should be in YOUR benefit.

    Try to swollow your emotions…the NATO soldiers already many times killed British troops in the so called “friendly fire”…not just British….they killed their OWN US troops,because they are sooooooooooooooooooo smart!


  • Carolina Aguero
    Dec 12, 2011 - 12:06AM

    How do 2 rockets destroy 42 tankers? i only want it to be true !!!


  • Ashraf P
    Dec 13, 2011 - 8:36AM

    Pakistani money is being burnt – not NATO’s. These trucks belong to Pakistani contractors.


  • Dec 13, 2011 - 6:13PM

    @pakistani baloch:

    Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! You,Pakistani,could have utilized this oil…the problem is you think with your heart and NOT with your head!


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