Attock: Nato supply route proving fatal for cops
ATTOCK: At least 11 people, including eight policemen, have been killed and 12 others injured in five attacks on Nato oil tankers on the Mianwali-Talagang-Attock Road since September last year, making it a risky route.
The tankers, carrying supplies for the Nato and US forces in Afghanistan from Karachi, pass through a 200-kilometre section of the Talagang–Attock Road. Nato trucks and tankers carrying supplies for more than 130,000 US-led international troops fighting in Afghanistan are frequently targeted in Pakistan.
The first attack took place on September 4 last year near Tajabara village of Fatehjang police station. Three days later on September 7 near Sakoowal village on the Talagang-Attock Road of the same police station, armed persons killed a driver and injured a conductor in an attack on a trawler. However, police had claimed that it was a private trawler, adding that the attackers took it as Nato supply vehicle.
Three policemen died in two attacks on Nato supplies in Talagang tehsil last year.
But on May 2, hours before the US raid in Abbottabad killing Osama bin Laden, a daring attack took place when the armed men destroyed eight oil tankers and killed six people, including five policemen, near Dullian village of Pindigheb police station. In the five attacks, none of the attackers has been arrested.
The oil tankers use the Karachi-Mianwali-Talagang-Attock Road from Karachi to Afghanistan due to short distance compared to the main G.T. Road. The vehicles enter Attock district from Dhoke Pattan bridge and connect with the G.T. Road near Attock bridge before entering Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for onward journey to Afghanistan.
District Police Officer Dr Mohammad Akhtar Abbass claimed that the security was on high alert on the road after the attacks. “We have intensified surveillance through patrolling and others sources at the road,” he said.
He said six police check points have been setup on the Talagang-Fatehjang-Pindi Road to keep proper check on the movement of heavy trawlers and oil tankers, particularly when they pass through sensitive or populated areas or stop at hotels and filling stations. The DPO added that all patrolling police officials have been asked to tell the drivers of oil tankers to minimise their stoppages, particularly after sunset.
The official said a proposal is also under consideration that Nato supplies adopt the Motorway route from Talagang through Balkasar interchange to reach Rawalpindi, instead of using much populated Talagang-Fatehjang-Pindi Road.