Taliban in Pakistan captures convoy bound for NATO troops

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Militants stand astride captured Humvee

On Monday, the Pakistan branch of the Taliban captured a supply convoy of thirteen trucks and two armored Humvees bound for NATO troops, without incurring a single fatality. They made off with millions of dollars worth of sophisticated military equipment, according to The Washington Post.

Approximately 60 masked militants belonging to Tehrik-i-Taliban blocked off part of a roadway in the Khyber Pass. The Taliban forces overran the Pakistani security forces, who were moving the shipment to an American military base, and briefly took the truck drivers prisoner. Although gunfire was exchanged, there were no casualties on either side. After releasing the drivers, the militants opened several captured cargo containers of wheat, distributing most of it to local residents.

The attack, which took place in the North-West Frontier Province, occurred several miles outside the border town of Jamrud. It was celebrated by the victorious fighters who photographed themselves with the captured equipment.

Pakistan's federal government, which has recently stepped up efforts to contain the lawless tribal province, dispatched helicopters and 500 troops to try and track the hijacked convoy. One local child was killed, and four civilians wounded, by the gunships. The Taliban fighters were reported to have abandoned an American Jeep and one of the Humvees along the road, which were subsequently taken back into possession by Pakistani troops.

The Pakistani newspaper Dawn published a scathing editorial attacking the army's incompetence and heavy-handed response to the embarrassing loss, referring to the attack as disturbing "both for its audacity and possible implications."


Sources

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