It is an incident with consequences: Western helicopter gunships to put Pakistani border soldiers under fire and killed three of them, the government finally reacted in Islamabad. It includes an important supply route towards Afghanistan, may not happen NATO convoys.
Islamabad - The dispute between Pakistan and NATO is getting worse. The occasion is a new incident in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The representations of what really happened to go, but apart.
After Pakistan's information came in the use of two combat helicopters of the NATO in the Kurram tribal area of at least three soldiers of a paramilitary group killed and three others were injured. The men were used for border protection. Accordingly, the helicopter broke early Thursday morning in the airspace of the country and opened fire on an army checkpoint in the village of Teri Mangal. The battle had lasted 25 minutes, the news agency Reuters quoted a senior security official who declined to be named by name.
An ISAF spokesman is what happens to SPIEGEL ONLINE dar. other NATO soldiers had identified a group of insurgents, who fired into the border region with Afghanistan with mortars at a camp of the allies in the Afghan province of Paktia, "he said. "Our soldiers have requested air support, and after the first stage, the forces were in the air from the fact that the opponent is on Afghan soil." According to the soldiers involved were not the helicopters entered Pakistani territory. "But after we had informed the Pakistani military about the fact that their efforts have been made at the border and three soldiers were killed and three were injured, we will investigate the incident thoroughly," said the spokesman.
Torkham border crossing closed for NATO convoy
After the incident left the Pakistani authorities close the border crossing at Torkham, located in the neighboring Khyber tribal region. Via this route, much of the supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan will be delivered. A direct connection has not been confirmed but the government in Islamabad. The authorities had threatened a few days ago but so to grant NATO supply convoys unprotected, NATO should continue to carry out attacks on Pakistani soil. There is no reaction to the NATO action as yet.
In recent days there had always dispute between Pakistan and NATO for operations in the region where. On Friday, two NATO helicopters entered Pakistani territory, where they had killed 30 insurgents. NATO had given as a justification for the use, the insurgents Afghan checkpoints in the province of Khost attack you. On Saturday came with a similar use of four other militants were killed.
Pakistan had refused to tolerate such operations and then made the sovereignty of its territory claims. The government in Islamabad announced possible "reactions", it should repeat such attacks. NATO points out, however, that the stakes were covered by their mandate. Pakistan sees itself facing accusations over again, decided not to act against terrorists in their own country enough.
This impromptu shutdown is the only tool the establishment has for the local consumption. This blockade lasts till they get a visit from an American envoy. In all honesty the Pakistani establishment has no leg to stand on what so ever. This is only a ploy to show the people that the leaders have done something.
Bloody sham. What will be the basis of the largess the west has showered on Pak if they stop the supply route? They have to remember 150 sites in Pak have been lighted up like christmas trees. The circuit breaks if the supply route breaks.
Pakistan has voiced anger at rare Nato-led raids at the weekend which crossed over its border from Afghanistan.
Apache helicopters are said to have taken part in the operations which killed more than 50 insurgents.
Pakistan's ministry of foreign affairs said the raids, launched from the Khost region of Afghanistan, were a violation of its sovereignty.
Nato has again insisted that it was operating within its mandate and troops had a right to defend themselves.
The BBC's Adam Mynott in Islamabad says Pakistan's comments were mainly aimed at a domestic audience, among which US military activity is often unpopular.
The International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said it had crossed over the border into Pakistan after coming under fire in the Khost region of Afghanistan. It said 49 insurgents had been killed.
Two Apache helicopters again crossed the border on Saturday, killing four to six insurgents, after coming under small-arms fire from the same area, it said.
Isaf has said the raids followed its rules of engagement in the region and that it has the right to enter Pakistan's airspace while pursuing a target.
"Isaf forces must and will retain the authority, within their mandate, to defend themselves in carrying out their mission," a Nato official told the AFP news agency.
But in a statement, Pakistan's ministry of foreign affairs said the incidents had been "a clear violation and breach of the UN mandate under which Isaf operates".
It said Isaf's mandate ended at the Afghan border and there were "no agreed 'hot pursuit' rules" allowing Isaf troops to cross into Pakistan.
"Any impression to the contrary is not factually correct. Such violations are unacceptable.
The raids were reported to have involved the use of Apache helicopters
"In the absence of immediate corrective measures, Pakistan will be constrained to consider response options."
Islamabad backs much of the military action taking place against insurgents operating around the border region in Afghanistan, says our correspondent.
So the strong statement is largely directed at a domestic audience in Pakistan, he adds, among whom anti-American sentiment has been fuelled by the escalating numbers of unmanned drone attacks on targets in the country.
Isaf has not revealed the location of the raid operation or which country's forces were involved. It said no civilians were killed in the operation, but this has not been independently confirmed.
Isaf's force was established by the UN in late 2001 with a stated mission of promoting security and development. It is also training Afghan soldiers and police.
Pakistan closes Nato's Khyber Pass supply route into Afghanistan
Pakistan closed the main supply route for Nato forces in Afghanistan yesterday as it launched an offensive backed by tanks and helicopter gunships against Taleban forces in the strategic Khyber Pass.
Troops pounded suspected militant hideouts with heavy artillery, killing several insurgents who had frequently ambushed the convoys, interrupting military supplies in recent weeks.
Security officials imposed a curfew, warned tribesmen against sheltering Islamic militants and said the highway linking Peshawar to the border town of Torkham would remain closed until the operation was completed.
Tariq Hayat Khan, the administrator of the Khyber tribal agency, said: “We want to get rid of them and we mean business this time. Supplies to Nato forces will remain suspended until we clear the area of militants and outlaws who have gone out of control.” The latest offensive came after a series of spectacular attacks by the militants on lorry terminals in the outskirts of Peshawar, which destroyed hundreds of Nato supply vehicles. There has also been a spate of hijackings. Several drivers have been killed, bringing many truckers to stop taking supplies along the route. Heavily armed paramilitary escorts have failed to prevent attacks.
About 75 per cent of the supplies and equipment used by Nato and US-led forces fighting the Taleban in Afghanistan are shipped to the Pakistani port of Karachi, where they begins a treacherous 1,200-mile land journey to Kabul via the Khyber pass.
There is a second route from Karachi through the town of Chaman to the southwest, leading to the Afghan city of Kandahar but that has also come under attack recently.
The ambushes in the Khyber have forced Nato to look for alternatives, including through Central Asia into northern Afghanistan. The supply route is likely to be even more important as the United States increases its troops in Afghanistan, perhaps doubling the number to about 60,000 next year.
Pakistani officials said the situation in the Khyber worsened when Baitullah Mehsud, the head of the Pakistani Taleban movement, whose power base is hundreds of miles to the south in Waziristan, dispatched about 400 tribal fighters to the Khyber region to take on Western convoys along the mountain route. The militants are backed by a network of informants with advance knowledge of the convoys’ freight and timetables.
Until the arrival of insurgents from the south, Khyber was the most peaceful of Pakistan’s seven tribal regions Domestic politics have further complicated matters, however. Last week Jamaat-e-Islami, the most powerful Islamist party in Pakistan, threatened to block roads to Afghanistan if the United States continued its missile strikes against militants in Pakistan.
Faced with worsening security, the United States and the Afghan Government are considering the establishment of a force of unarmed “community guards” in villages beyond the reach of Western troops. The force would be given training, clothing and other supplies, as well as international back-up, so they could respond “with confidence” to insurgents.
William Wood, the US Ambassador in Kabul, insisted: “We do not intend to provide weapons to anyone in this programme. This is not a re-creation of tribal militias.”
Signaling Tensions, Pakistan Shuts NATO Supply Route
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan closed the most important border crossing for trucks supplying American and NATO forces in Afghanistan on Thursday, hours after coalition helicopters struck on the Pakistani side of the border for the fourth time in a week, killing three member of Pakistan’s border force.
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A. Majeed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Workers unloaded a container from a truck carrying NATO supplies at a warehouse in Peshawar on Thursday, after Pakistan shut down the main land route for NATO supplies into Afghanistan.
The New York Times
The border closing, and the exceptional strikes by piloted aircraft, as opposed to drones, signaled a general rise in tensions between Pakistan and the United States, already uncomfortable allies who are pursuing competing interests in the Afghan war.
The actions come as the C.I.A. has carried out a record number of drone attacks inside Pakistan this month and amid fresh reports of unlawful executions by the Pakistani army in areas where it has opened offensives against Taliban forces threatening the government.
Those operations have not extended to the prime stronghold in North Waziristan of the insurgents who infiltrate Afghanistan, a growing source of frustration for American officials who face a deadline this year to show progress in the Afghan war.
The border closing was a clear demonstration of the leverage Pakistan holds over the American war effort. It coincided with a previously scheduled visit by the C.I.A. director, Leon Panetta, who met Thursday with the Pakistani military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, as part of a steady stream of American officials who have come to alternately cajole and coerce cooperation from Pakistan.
But the closure also signaled the limits of Pakistan’s tolerance for intrusions on its sovereignty and for the pressure it is willing to absorb from American officials on any range of issues, despite receiving nearly $2 billion a year in military aid from Washington.
The Pakistani government indicated Thursday that the cross-border strikes were more than it could bear without protest. “We will have to see whether we are allies or enemies,” the Pakistani interior minister, Rehman Malik, said.
At the same time, Pakistani officials tried to contain the damage from a video that came to the attention of American officials in recent days showing Pakistani army soldiers executing six young men, bound and blindfolded.
Responding to questions from American officials, Pakistani officials acknowledged Thursday that the video was not faked, as they had first contended, an American official said, and that they had identified the soldiers and would take appropriate measures.
It was in both the American and the Pakistani interest, at least for the moment, to keep the relationship going, the official said. The Pakistanis, facing economic collapse after the devastating floods of the summer, were in no mood to lose American military aid — some $10 billion since 2001 — which could be suspended to units committing atrocities, the official said.
For their part, American commanders are eager to continue C.I.A. drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas that have targeted both Taliban and Al Qaeda militants who cross the border to attack NATO and American troops. The Pakistani government has agreed to the American drone campaign, but could always suspend its permission or shrink the area in which the strikes are allowed.
The country is also the prime supply route for the Afghan war, a fact Pakistani and American officials are both keenly aware of. The vast majority of non-lethal supplies — water, food, vehicles — for the coalition forces in landlocked Afghanistan must transit the length of Pakistan, hundreds of miles from the southern port of Karachi to the Afghan border.
Along that route trucks and fuel tankers have at times been hijacked and attacked by Taliban forces. Pakistani authorities have shut the border crossings only on occasion, however, usually citing security concerns.
But rarely have they held up American and NATO supplies in apparent retaliation for NATO or American actions. In July 2008, the Pakistanis closed the border crossing for several days after American aircraft bombed a Pakistani paramilitary post in Mohmand, another tribal area. Eleven Pakistanis were killed in the attack.
American commanders in Afghanistan, long fearful that Pakistan could choke off the supply route more permanently, have been seeking alternates through the Central Asia, but with little success.
On Thursday, Pakistani officials gave them a glimpse of the how much more difficult they could make the Afghan war.
Trucks and oil tankers bound for coalitions forces sat idle at the border post of Torkham, just north of Peshawar, with no word when the post, one of two key land crossings to Afghanistan, would reopen, a Pakistani security official said.
The Pakistani government took no similar action and made no such public protest after the earlier coalition air strikes, even though they killed an estimated 55 people inside Pakistan.
Those strikes took place Sept. 24 and Sept. 25 on the border between Khost Province in Afghanistan and North Waziristan. Coalition helicopters shot into Pakistan three times, with one helicopter briefly breaching Pakistani airspace, according to Maj. Sunset Belinsky, a NATO spokeswoman.
In the incident Thursday, a NATO helicopter attacked a border post at Mandati Kandaw, a town close to Parachinar, in the Kurram tribal area, the Pakistani security official said. Three soldiers of Pakistan’s Frontier Corps were killed and three wounded, he said.
Another border post, at Kharlachi, also in Kurram, was struck a few hours later, the official added. The two posts are about 15 miles apart and border Paktia Province in Afghanistan.
A spokesman at NATO headquarters in Afghanistan said the precise location and circumstances of the incident was under investigation.
The targets of the previous strikes were described by Gen. David H. Petraeus, the overall commander of forces in Afghanistan, as fighters for the Haqqani network, long a proxy force for the Pakistanis, who were trying to attack Afghan border posts.
As a review of the Afghan war looms in December, General Petraeus needs to show results for President Obama’s decision to add 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan this year.
As such, the general has begun taking advantage of authorities that coalition forces have claimed throughout the course of the nine-year war — self-defense and hot pursuit — but have used only sparingly to strike inside Pakistan to avoid the kind of political upset that erupted this week.
The C.I.A., meanwhile, has about doubled its drone operations over Pakistan’s tribal areas, flying at least 10 of the armed remotely piloted aircraft at any one time and employing an enlarged network of informants on the ground.
The rise in tensions are not without risk for Pakistan. American officials have suggested that cross-border ground operations, with or without Pakistan’s assent, were not out of the question, especially if a terrorist attack on the United States originated from Pakistan.
Its tribal areas are home not only to the Taliban but also Al Qaeda and assorted other militant groups, who have used the sanctuary to plot and launch terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States since 2001. The suspect in the failed plot to set off a bomb in Times Square has confessed to being trained there by the Taliban.
Ismail Khan contributed from Peshawar, Pakistan; Eric Schmitt from Washington; and Alissa J. Rubin from Kabul, Afghanistan.
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- The U.S. military says only one supply route to Afghanistan has been closed by the Pakistani government after fighting that led to the deaths of three Pakistani soldiers, and a military spokesman said Thursday that United States is hopeful the situation is only temporary.
Pakistan banned NATO supply convoys from entering Afghanistan after the deaths of the three soldiers, whom the government says were killed in Pakistani territory during fighting between NATO troops and militants, according to a military official from the NATO-led command in Afghanistan.
Other routes from Pakistan to the war zone remain open, Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said Thursday. Lapan said it was too soon to assess the impact of closing this crucial route.
The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is talking with Pakistan to resolve the situation.
Supply convoys are all-important for the Afghan war effort, and officials from NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were trying to persuade Pakistan to lift the ban. Coalition forces rely heavily on convoys from Pakistan to bring in supplies and gear.
Lt. Col. John Dorrian, an ISAF spokesman, said the Torkham Gate in the Khyber Agency has been closed since about midday on Thursday.
"We don't think it's a very serious problem," Dorrian said. "it's a throroughfare we use a lot so it is significant. But we can work around it."
"We do expect these matters to be resolved."
Torkham Gate is one of the main ports of entry for materiel coming into the war zone. But he emphasized it's not the only way of getting supplies in, he said. Khyber Agency is one of the seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region.
ISAF said in a statement Thursday that its forces saw what they thought were insurgents trying to fire mortars at a coalition base in the Dand Patan District of Afghanistan's Paktiya province, near the Pakistani border.
An air weapons team targeted the suspected insurgents' firing position, located inside Afghanistan along the border area, and the aircraft entered Pakistani airspace briefly "as they engaged this initial target," the ISAF statement said.
After this strike, the "aircraft received what the crews assessed as effective small arms fire from individuals just across the border in Pakistan" and the ISAF aircraft, operating in self-defense, entered into Pakistani airspace and killed "several armed individuals."
Later, Pakistani military officials told ISAF that coalition aircraft struck its border forces.
"ISAF and Pakistani forces are reviewing the operational reporting to verify the exact location of the two engagements and the facts in this case, and we will work together to fully investigate this incident.
"Both sides have in mind that it is the insurgents, operating on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and violating the territorial sovereignty of both countries, that we are focused on fighting," the ISAF statement said.
ISAF issued "sincere condolences to the Pakistani military and the families of those who were killed or injured."
The Pakistani government said two helicopters from Afghanistan appeared to have crossed the border into Pakistan in the Mandata Kandaho, Ali Mangola area of the upper Kurram Agency and engaged an outpost of Frontier Corps through cannon fire.
The post, manned by six soldiers, is located 200 meters inside Pakistan, and troops fired their rifles to indicate that the helicopters were crossing into Pakistani territory.
Instead of heeding the warning, the choppers fired two missiles and destroyed the post, killing the three soldiers and injuring three others.
"This is the third incident of its kind during past one week. In the wake of the last incident on 27 September, contact was made at the highest military level and the incident was regretted by the USA," the government said.
NATO helicopters crossed into Pakistani airspace from Afghanistan in pursuit of insurgents over the weekend, killing 49 people, a spokesman told CNN Monday.
Crossing the border did not violate the International Security Assistance Force rules of engagement, Maj. Michael Johnson said.
Pakistan is very sensitive about U.S.-led military operations on its territory and issued a strong protest Monday.
Pakistan called the incursions "a clear violation and breach" of U.N. rules for foreign forces in Afghanistan.
The United Nations "mandate terminates/finishes at the Afghanistan border. There are no agreed hot pursuit rules," Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
A commander of international forces in the western part of Afghanistan said Thursday that Pakistan's recent ban on use of supply routes is "not a problem" for troops in his area of the country.
Italian Gen. Claudio Berto, talking to reporters in the Pentagon via satellite from Afghanistan, said, "In my point of view, it's not a problem, we are really far away from Pakistan, and if you mean the goods for the soldier, they're coming through other borders, for example Turkmenistan. And we have no problem with this issue."
All the goodwill gained by the Aids the Americans gave thrown outa the window, Lets see how long this lasts
US in talks with Pakistan over closed supply route: Pentagon
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon on Thursday expressed hope that Pakistan would reopen a key supply route for US-led forces in Afghanistan, which Islamabad closed after NATO aircraft staged cross-border raids.
US officials were holding talks with the Pakistanis after Islamabad accused NATO of killing Pakistani troops in the fourth cross-border attack this week, prompting the closure of the main land route for coalition troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
“We are in discussions with the Pakistani government and hope we can resolve the issue through discussion,” Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters when asked about the route.
He said it was “too soon” to assess the effect of suspending supply convoys along the Khyber Pass route, which links Peshawar in Pakistan with Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan.
“As you all know we have many different capabilities, routes, ways to resupply, so there's no immediate impact,” Lapan said.
US officials were also discussing if procedures and protocols were followed correctly in the recent cross-border incidents, he said.
NATO said its aircraft entered Pakistani airspace early Thursday in self defense and killed “several armed individuals” after air crews believed they had been fired at from the ground.
But a Pakistan military spokesman in a statement said two helicopters from Afghanistan used cannon fire against an outpost of the Frontier Corps located 200 meters (650 feet) inside Pakistan.
Troops present at the post manned by six soldiers “retaliated through rifle fire to indicate that the helicopters were crossing into our territory,” the spokesman said.
ISAF said it had been informed by Pakistani military officials that members of their border forces had been hit by coalition aircraft and said a review was underway “to verify the exact location of the two engagements and the facts”.
Lapan said that any rifle fire at the aircraft would likely have been treated as “hostile” fire by the allied forces.
okk...soo they chase a few guyz inside pakistani borders, the troops open fire they retaliate, I don't see why its NATO's fault at all
its like flying mig-19 over lahore to the cheering crowd over rooftops to show that they are warding of Su MKI with vigilant flights after the supposed intrusion of the su mki after 26/11.In simple words ...nautanki....Pakistanis are are the biggest nautankibaaz.remember Ijaz butt's nautanki about english players fixing the 3rd oneday and today he he does the fast retreat with apology. same will happen with single call from DC about the route closer.I even doubt that they might ve closed the route at all.when pakistani media and govt shouts from rooftops then take it that they are simply lying.
What kind of clowns shoot at a gunship to warn them of friendly fire? Hasn't Pakistan got anything called radio communication with the pilot to inform him or her of dangers ahead rather than shoot at them? Naturally the pilot would take this as an act of hostility and return fire immediately. I cannot believe how they plan to threaten us if they cannot even understand standard military protocol worldwide.
Lol...Ak-47 are like eid gifts in afghanistan and pakistan..lol.....the soldiers must have got over excited on seeing their ally gunships and fired shots in celebration wellcoming them...unfortunately celebrations ended quite quick..boom boom bang bang
Suspected militants in southern Pakistan set ablaze more than two dozen tankers carrying fuel for foreign troops in Afghanistan on Friday, highlighting the vulnerability of the US-led mission a day after Pakistan closed a major border crossing. The Pakistani government shut the Torkham border in the northwest in apparent protest at a NATO helicopter incursion that killed three of its soldiers on the border. The events raised tensions between Pakistan and the United States, which have a close but often troubled alliance in the fight against militants.
Angry at NATO? Pakistan shuts route for Afghan supplies
And NATO's war effort in Afghanistan is facing another obstacle. Pakistan has closed an important supply route for the coalition. A hundred fuel tankers and trucks haven't been allowed into Afghanistan. It is seen as a retaliation to a NATO helicopter raid into the territory of Pakistan in which 3 local soldiers were killed and 3 more wounded. The alliance says the incident is now being investigated and promised the Pakistan's sovereignty would be respected. Recently the number of missile strikes and helicopter raids against suspected militants hiding in Pakistan's tribal zone has been on the rise. Pakistani officials say the attacks are violating international law and should be stopped. Pakistani political expert Ahmed Quraishi told RT that the U.S.-led coalition has failed to persuade Pashtun tribes living on either side of the border to join peace efforts.
NATO tankers torched in Pakistan, but alternative routes to Afghanistan limited
The incident encapsulates many of the challenges for NATO tankers and supply lines, including militant attacks, disastrous floods, and mercurial Pakistan-US relations.
Unknown assailants destroyed nearly 40 vehicles, mostly NATO tankers bringing oil to Afghanistan, on a nighttime raid in southern Pakistan early Friday.
The trucks had halted overnight in the town of Shikarpur en route to the only border crossing into Afghanistan that remains open following Pakistan's closure of the Khyber Pass to NATO suppliers Thursday morning. Trucks had only recently started to pass through Shikarpur when a road was reopened that had been washed out by floods this summer.
The incident encapsulates many of the challenges for the NATO supply lines, including militant attacks, disastrous floods, and mercurial Pakistan-US relations. While the level of disruption at the moment remains manageable, further problems could spell trouble.
"If these attacks become frequent and they begin to take a heavy toll on the supply lines then I think it could be a huge source of worry on NATO forces. As the Americans increase their numbers they become ever more dependent on this stable route through Pakistan," says Rifaat Hussein, a strategic analyst at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad.
Pakistan closed the Khyber Pass border crossing following several recent border incursions by NATO forces. The latest incident on Thursday morning involved US helicopters destroying a Pakistani border post, killing three paramilitary troops with the Frontier Corps. Pakistan claims its forces fired warning shots over the incursion.
"You fire at a helicopter in a combat zone, they usually take that as hostile and return fire," said Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan.
US-Pakistan relations have sunk rapidly despite recent goodwill surrounding flood relief. America provided $362 million in assistance and sent helicopters and crews to rescue survivors.
But as frequently happens, says Dr. Hussein, one positive step forward in the US-Pakistan relationship was followed by several steps back. Among them: dozens of drone attacks this month, violations of Pakistan's airspace, and criticism from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the lack of taxation in Pakistan. He says that assaults on NATO trucks are often revenge attacks for drone strikes.
Supply routes limited
In the bigger picture, says Ijaz Khattak, a professor of international relations at Peshawar University, Pakistan is also not supportive of the US surge in Afghanistan. That's because if it were to work it could put Islamabad in a less central position during peace negotiations.
"You see on the one side an increase in American pressure, and in Pakistan an increase in different tactics to make it difficult for the US to carry on with its so-called surge policy Afghanistan," says Professor Khattak.
Some 80 percent of the fuel and other non-lethal supplies for the war effort travel through Pakistan, according to the Associated Press. In recent years, the coalition has added redundancy to its supply lines by opening several supply routes through the Central Asian republics as well.
Those new routes are more expensive, but the various squeezes within Pakistan are no doubt raising costs there as well.
Attackers drove Land Cruisers
The torched tankers had been parked for the night at a gas station, says local district coordination officer Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo. No one was hurt in the attack, he says, and he declined to speculate on who was responsible for the attack.
"It is a bit early to say, an investigation is under way," he says. "No militants are operating in this area. This is a peaceful area."
Rehmatullah Soomro, a reporter for the newspaper Dawn who interviewed some of the drivers, says they told him they were headed to Kandahar. The attack took place at about 1:30 a.m. Mr. Soomro says few witnessed the attack but some say the attackers came in Toyota Land Cruisers and used rocket launchers.
Trucks ferrying NATO supplies through Shikarpur are all headed toward Kandahar; trucks headed to Kabul through the Khyber Pass go a different route, says Mr. Mangnejo. But, he says, trucks had not been seen around town for weeks until two days ago when a road connecting Shikarpur was fixed.
While the floods caused rerouting of trucks heading to Kandahar, the trucks heading to Kabul seem less disrupted.
Interviews with Pakistani truckers in Kabul last week indicated that the floods did not force any major rerouting of lorries heading through Pakistan's northwest province of Khyber-Pakhtunwa. Drivers showed cellphone videos of widespread damage to their villages, but they said the road network for trucks remained intact.
Issam Ahmed contributed reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan.