Seven dead as gunmen torch NATO trucks in Pakistan

Gunmen attacked dozens of trucks carrying supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan, killing seven people and torching the vehicles, police in Islamabad said on Wednesday.

Islamabad police chief Kalim Imam said 10 to 12 attackers riding motorbikes and a pickup truck stormed a depot at the outskirts of Islamabad late Tuesday and opened fire at around 50 trucks and oil tankers.

"The police are trying to assess how many NATO trucks were torched. We are investigating the terror incident," Imam told DPA. "We had no information on the presence of NATO trucks in the depot."

"I was sleeping in my truck when I heard gunfire," said witness Allah Yaar. "I jumped out and saw some attackers firing while some others splashed petrol on the trucks. Everyone was running to save his life."

A health official at the capital's main hospital, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, said seven bodies and five injured were moved there. Many of those killed were truck drivers who were resting in their vehicles.

Firefighters struggled for hours to put out the blaze. Television footage showed rows of trucks turned into twisted metal.

Taliban militants have carried out dozens of attacks on Lorries carrying oil and other supplies for western troops from the Pakistani port city of Karachi into landlocked Afghanistan.

But most of those attacks took place in the north-western province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa or the south-western province of Baluchistan. It was the first such raid on NATO supplies near Islamabad.

Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters have stepped up suicide and other attacks on official and civilian targets to retaliate against an army assault on their dens in the tribal region along the Afghan border.

More than 3,500 people have died in such attacks since mid-2007.
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