Pakistan Blocks NATO Supplies in Protest After Three Soldiers Killed in Attack

NATO Tankers Torched as Domestic Outrage Grows

by Jason Ditz, September 30, 2010

Pakistan has blocked all NATO traffic from travelling through the Khyber Pass for the indefinite future today, cutting off the primary source of supplies for troops in landlocked Afghanistan. The government insists civilian traffic will continue to flow through the border unaffected.

The move was retaliation for a pair of NATO attacks against the Kurram Agency, the first of which involved what local officials are calling “indiscriminate shelling” and the second of which was a direct attack on a Pakistani military post, which killed three soldiers and wounded three others.

The closure of the supply route could be just the first move, as Pakistani Senators have pressed for a total closure of all NATO supply routes through the country, and Pakistan’s military has threatened unspecified measures in retaliation for the killings.

The US shrugged off the killings, insisting they were in “self defense” and expressing “consolences” to the families of the slain troops. The US has also pressed Pakistan to reopen the supply route. But right now it seems tensions are getting worse, not better.

The attack also sparked a backlash from militants in Pakistan, who attacked and burned a number of NATO supply tankers in Shikapur District. The US is also expressing concern over the Pakistani military on the basis of an unrelated video showing Pakistani troops killing civilians.

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