Pakistani Taliban today claimed responsibility for two attacks on Nato supply convoys in Pakistan and threatened to carry out more.
"We accept responsibility for the attacks on the Nato supply trucks and tankers," a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Azam Tariq said. "I am talking about attacks both in Sindh and in Islamabad," he said during a telephone call from an undisclosed location.
"We will carry out more such attacks in future. We will not allow the use of Pakistani soil as a supply route for Nato troops based in Afghanistan.
"This is also to avenge drone attacks," he added.
At least three people were killed when about 20 oil tankers loaded with fuel for Nato troops in Afghanistan were attacked and set ablaze near the Pakistani capital overnight, police said. The attack came as Pakistani authorities continued their own blockade of a main land route for Nato supplies for a fifth consecutive day, in response to a Nato helicopter strike that Islamabad says killed three of its soldiers.
Television pictures showed flames towering from the trucks. The trucks were being filled just outside Islamabad en route to Afghanistan early in the morning when gunmen attacked the convoy with molotov cocktails. In a similar incident on Friday in the south, heavily armed gunmen set ablaze more than two dozen trucks and tankers carrying fuel for the 152,000-strong foreign force fighting the Taliban-led insurgency.
"Three people have died, eight are injured. They have all received bullet injuries and are mostly drivers and their helpers," police emergency official Mohammad Ahad said after the latest incident. Police said about a dozen people who attacked the supply tankers fled the scene. Ambushes of Nato convoys are not uncommon, but are normally concentrated in strongholds of Islamist militants in the lawless northwest.
An administrative official at Torkham, the main border crossing, confirmed the blockade was continuing for a fifth day. Queues of more than 200 trucks and oil tankers have formed at the border in the northwest tribal area of Kurram as they wait to deliver supplies. Washington has described Pakistan's tribal belt on the Afghan border as a global headquarters of al Qa'eda, a hub of militants fighting in Afghanistan and the most dangerous place on Earth.