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6 NATO trucks torched in Afghanistan

Militants have attacked six NATO supply vehicles transporting goods destined for US-led forces in Afghanistan and set them on fire in the central province of Maidan Wardak.

The incident happened late on Sunday in the Salar area of Syedabad district on the Kabul-Kandahar highway, the governor’s spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News on Monday.

He added that three guards of a private security company escorting the convoy were wounded in the assault and three of the attackers were killed.

The attack came on the same day that about 20 trucks went up in flames and four people were killed and seven injured when Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants peppered the vehicles, which were parked at a truck stop on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital Islamabad, with automatic gunfire.

TTP militants regularly attack NATO convoys in Pakistan.

The US military and NATO rely heavily on the Pakistani supply route into landlocked Afghanistan, more so now that Taliban attacks are increasing.

Supplies arrive by sea in the southern port city of Karachi, where security analysts believe most of the Afghan Taliban leadership is now hiding. From there, they must travel in long, exposed convoys, through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in northwest Pakistan.

Militants in the rugged tribal area have staged spectacular attacks in recent months, torching hundreds of NATO vehicles and containers destined for foreign troops in Afghanistan.

In response, the Pakistani authorities have deployed large contingents of police and military forces on all major arteries in the area to curb the attacks.

Other routes, largely through Russia and the Central Asian states, have proved too costly both politically and economically to be viable.

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