Peshawar: Gunmen in restive northwest Pakistan on Tuesday attacked a convoy of container trucks carrying supplies to Nato troops in Afghanistan, killing one of the drivers, officials said.
It is the first such attack since Pakistan reopened its border to Nato supply convoys three weeks ago after a seven-month blockade staged in protest at a botched US air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at a border post.
The Pakistani Taliban have threatened to attack Nato trucks and their drivers, and right-wing and extremist religious groups have held large demonstrations against the resumption of supply lines.
Tuesday’s attack took place near the market in Jamrud town on the outskirts of Peshawar, the main city in the troubled northwest, local administration official Bakhtiar Khan said.
“Two armed men riding on a motorbike opened fire on a container carrying supplies for Nato troops across the border and killed its driver,” Khan told AFP, adding that the driver’s helper was seriously wounded.
Another administration official said the truck was part of a convoy of three or four vehicles travelling without security protection when they came under attack.
A hospital official in Jamrud confirmed the casualties.
“The driver was shifted to our hospital in serious condition, he died later,” doctor Azam Khan of the state-run Jamrud hospital told AFP.
He recieved one bullet in the head and two in the chest, he added.
Pakistan on July 3 decided to reopen overland routes to Nato convoys crossing into Afghanistan, after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said sorry for the air strike deaths last November.
The crisis was the worst episode in Pakistan’s decade-long partnership with Washington in the war in Afghanistan, with both sides still struggling to overcome a breakdown in trust.
So far relatively few Nato trucks have actually trickled across the border, with owners awaiting a deal on compensation for seven months’ missed work and security guarantees in the southern port city of Karachi.