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Oil supply to Nato resumes after five months

Updated September 05, 2013

LANDI KOTAL, Sept 4: Oil supply to Nato forces in Afghanistan resumed on Wednesday after a five-month suspension because of attacks on tankers. Four oil tankers crossed the border into Afghanistan amid tight security.

Officials at Torkham border said additional personnel of Khasadar and Levies forces had been deployed along the road when the four oil tankers entered Khyber Agency from Peshawar near the Takhta Beg checkpost on Wednesday morning.

The movement of the tankers was kept in low profile to avoid militant attacks.

“It took the four tankers almost six hours to cover a 40km distance from Jamrud to the Torkham border due to bad road condition,” the driver of a tanker said.

The officials said they had not been specifically informed about the resumption of supplies.

It was the first delivery via the Torkham border since March. Transporters had suspended the supply first because of a row over freight charges with contractors and later due to threats from militant groups.

A number of oil tankers and their owners were targeted by militant groups operating in Jamrud and Landi Kotal after the government announced the resumption of all kinds of supplies which had been suspended in November 2011 after Nato fighter planes bombed a security post in Salala, Mohmand Agency, in which 25 Pakistani soldiers lost their lives.

AFP adds: “We resumed the supply from today (Wednesday) after hiring the services of a private firm which will provide security to our convoys from Karachi to Torkham,” contractor Azad Khan Afridi said, adding that contractors had suspended the supply after the government refused to provide them with extra security.

He said Frontier Corps troops also escorted the tankers to the border.

Pakistan and the United States have signed a deal allowing Nato convoys to travel into Afghanistan until the end of 2015.