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Asia-pacific

Taliban sets 200 fuel trucks ablaze near Kabul

© Afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-05

An overnight Taliban bomb attack in the outskirts of Kabul set fire to some 200 fuel trucks that the militants claimed were supplying NATO troops in Afghanistan, officials said Saturday.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that the group had carried out the attack. Taliban insurgents have targeted NATO supply convoys in the past.

"At around 10:30 p.m. dozens of fuel tankers belonging to private companies caught fire," Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told AFP.

"No one can get close to them since the fire is still raging at the scene," he added, saying that there had been no casualties.

Kabul police director Gul Aghan Hashimi said a magnetic bomb had been used in the attack while a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said they were investigating whether the fuel was, in fact, intended for foreign troops.

The Afghan interior ministry said initial investigations found that 200 trucks had been damaged.

The incident took place in Chawk-e Arghandi and comes as the Taliban steps up attacks with NATO forces preparing to complete their withdrawal from the country by the end of the year.

Also on Friday, ISAF said a rocket attack at the main US military base at Bagram Airfield had resulted in "minor damages to equipment and one building".

The incidents came just a day after Taliban insurgents fired rockets into Kabul airport, destroying the Afghan president's parked helicopter and damaging three others.

On Wednesday a Taliban suicide bomber in Kabul killed eight military officers travelling on a military bus.

The attacks underlined security fears in the capital, which has been relatively peaceful since the June 14 presidential runoff between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.

Kabul has witnessed tense street demonstrations as the two candidates remain locked in a dispute over voter fraud, which is threatening to derail Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power.

All NATO combat troops will exit by the end of the year, with about 10,000 US troops staying into 2015 if the new Afghan president signs a security deal with Washington.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

Date created : 2014-07-05

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