Targeted en route: Three dead in string of attacks on Nato trucks

Convoy attacked twice in the space of 20 minutes.

Our Correspondents May 16, 2013
Policemen stand guard beside a truck carrying a Nato forces vehicle after an attack by gunmen on the outskirts of Peshawar on May 16, 2013. PHOTO: AFP


Three truck drivers returning from Afghanistan after unloading Nato supplies were gunned down by unidentified assailants on Thursday.

A driver of a Nato truck was gunned down by assailants on a motorbike in Jamrud tehsil, Khyber Agency. The gunmen opened fire on a convoy of vehicles near Teddy Bazaar at around 11am.

Political administration official Asmatullah Wazir said he had directed khasadar line officer Khandad Afridi to provide security to the convoy. The khasadar officials opened retaliatory fire, forcing the assailants to flee, he added.

Twenty minutes after the attack, another group of militants attacked the same convoy in Ghariza, injuring a driver identified as Jan Muhammad, a resident of Swat. Muhammad succumbed to his injuries on the way to Civil Hospital Jamrud.

Wazir said the militants fled when khasadar officials rushed to the site, adding most of the officers were engaged in a search operation which was launched following the initial attack on the convoy.

Another operation was launched in Ghariza and tribesmen were told anyone found travelling on a motorcycle would be apprehended and the motorbike would be confiscated. Eight suspects were arrested during the search.

In a similar incident, the driver of a truck returning from Kabul was killed when gunmen attacked the vehicle on Ring Road in the jurisdiction of Pishtakhara police station on Thursday afternoon.

Police said the truck, bearing registration number LLB-1791, was attacked when it reached Wadan CNG station on Ring Road. Driver Muhammad Basharat was killed on the spot. Police said he was a resident of Faisalabad, adding the attackers managed to escape.

In July 2012, Nato temporarily suspended all traffic after gunmen attacked trucks in Jamrud and managed to kill a driver. Since Nato resumed traffic, trucks travelling to and from Afghanistan have frequently been targeted in Khyber agency and Peshawar. Several drivers have been injured or killed in the continuing assaults.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2013.


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