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15 dead in NATO tanker fire in Pakistan

Posted by The Agonist on May 21st, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

Peshawar | May 21

AFP – At least 15 people were killed in an oil tanker blaze after a bomb exploded on the Afghanistan-bound NATO vehicle near a Pakistani border town on Saturday, officials said.

The victims had gathered to collect oil leaking from the tanker near Landi Kotal town in the northwestern tribal region of Khyber, local administration official Shafeerullah Wazir said.

“The oil tanker caught fire after a blast caused by a small bomb before dawn,” he said. “Villagers from nearby houses rushed and started collecting oil coming out of the destroyed tanker after the fire had been extinguished,” he said.

“Suddenly the fire erupted again and at least 15 people including five young boys who had been collecting oil in their buckets were burnt to death,” he said.

Earlier, 11 other NATO supply vehicles, “most of them oil tankers” were destroyed in nearby Torkham town, another administration official, Iqbal Khattak, said.

“The vehicles caught fire after a blast in one of the tankers around midnight last night,” he said, adding that the blast was apparently caused by a remote-controlled device planted under one of the vehicles.

“There were no casualties,” Khattak told AFP.

Wazir confirmed the overnight attack, saying that a total of 12 NATO vehicles had been destroyed in the two incidents.

No group has claimed responsibility but the Taliban have claimed such attacks in the past.

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