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    Nato oil tankers attacked by militants


    by ODN


    Gunmen in southwestern Pakistan have set fire to nearly 30 tankers carrying fuel for Nato troops in Afghanistan.

    Suspected Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on convoys carrying supplies for Nato forces since an air strike in northwestern Pakistan in September, described by the US ambassador as a terrible accident.

    About 20 gunmen set fire to around 30 tankers parked outside at a roadside restaurant near the southwestern town of Sibi in a pre-dawn attack, officials said.

    The tankers were on their way to the border town of Chaman. Government officials said one of the paramilitary soldiers escorting the convoy was wounded.

    The US-backed Pakistani government is battling Taliban insurgents who remain effective despite military crackdowns on their strongholds in the northwest near the Afghan border.

    Trucking routes through Pakistan bring in around 40 per cent of supplies for Nato forces in Afghanistan. Of the remainder, 40 per cent come through Afghanistan's neighbours in the north and 20 per cent by air.