Militants in the restive Khyber Agency carried out a pair of bombing attacks on NATO fuel tankers today, destroying two of the tankers and starting a fire that destroyed several stores and killed a fruit vendor.
The tankers were headed to Afghanistan to provide fuel for NATO’s ongoing war there. Though dangerous, the Khyber Pass remains the primary source of supplies for the NATO mission in the land-locked country.
Today’s attacks are the most high profile in several months. Earlier in the year a spate of bombings, fires, and hijackings saw dozens of vehicles and enormous numbers of supplies lost. The Pakistani military has attempted to keep the pass open to NATO traffic, but has had to intermittantly close it when the attacks become too great a danger to the truck drivers.
Though the United States has gone to great lengths to get approval for alternative supply routes, including a land route across Russia, transport across Pakistan’s tribal region remains by far the most cost effective route.