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Suspected Militants Attack NATO Fuel Convoy

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Suspected Militants Attack NATO Fuel Convoy

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Suspected Militants Attack NATO Fuel Convoy

Suspected Militants Attack NATO Fuel Convoy

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Gunmen in southern Pakistan burned a convoy of tanker trucks Friday. The trucks were carrying fuel for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Other convoys remain stranded at a northern border crossing which the Pakistanis closed Thursday. The attack came amid simmering anger in Pakistan about NATO raids inside Pakistani territory.

ARI SHAPIRO, host:

In Southern Pakistan, gunmen burned a convoy of tanker trucks today. They were carrying fuel for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The attack came amid simmering anger in Pakistan about NATO raids inside Pakistani territory. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Islamabad.

ANTHONY KUHN: The convoy of tankers was parked outside the town of Shikarpur in southern Sindh province. Shortly after midnight, masked attackers drove off the truck drivers by firing shots in the air. Then they torched the vehicleS. No casualties were reported. The tankers had loaded up at the port of Karachi and were headed northwest for the Chaman border crossing into Afghanistan.�

Political analyst Saleem Safi says that while the assailants have not yet been identified, today's attack speaks volumes about the Pakistani government's attitude towards NATO.

Mr. SALEEM SAFI (Political analyst): The Pakistani government is not serious, in this time, in protecting the NATO convoys. And I think it is also a kind of tit-for-tat to the NATO forces.

KUHN: Behind the tensions is a disagreement about recent cross-border raids by NATO helicopters, and the deaths of three Pakistani border guards yesterday.�

The incursions have strained relations between Washington and Islamabad. Pakistani media reported tense meetings here yesterday, between Pakistan's leaders and visiting CIA chief, Leon Panetta.�

Anthony Kuhn, NPR News, Islamabad.

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