PESHAWAR, Dec 8: Militants torched on Monday 53 Nato supply vehicles at a terminal on the Ring Road in the second such attack in two days.
According to eyewitnesses, about 50 heavily-armed people, some of them carrying jerry cans full of kerosene, stormed the Jamil Terminal at the Jamil Chowk.
“They doused the vehicles parked in the rear of the terminal with kerosene and set them on fire.”
Some of them said the militants were speaking “Persian and appeared to be Afghans”.
A fire brigade official said that eight fire fighters worked hard to contain the fire, which was aided by “some chemical accelerant”.
A police officer said that before attacking the terminal, the militants fired a rocket from Bala Manai which landed in Tehkal area. This appeared to be a tactic to divert security forces’ attention.
He admitted that the law and order situation had deteriorated over the past few days. He blamed Afghans for most of the subversive and criminal activities taking place in the region and said that they were posing a threat to the nation’s security.
He said the situation would worsen if the government did not take drastic action, adding that using police as a paramilitary force would not yield results in the present situation.
The Superintendent of Police of the City Circle said that only 10 militants had carried out the attack and they had probably entered the terminal from the back.
He said the terminal’s guards had run away after the attack. One of them is being interrogated while the other one ‘disappeared’.
AFP add: Firefighters managed to save 40 vehicles. A police investigator said militants had travelled to Peshawar from the Khyber Agency, bordering Afghanistan.
“They are well-organised, carrying rocket launchers, hand grenades and automatic weapons.”
“The police are ill-equipped and the militants outnumber them. Police step aside because militants come in large numbers and they do not want to risk their lives,” he added.
A police officer said the terminal’s security guards were not trained to deal with sophisticated raids being mounted by militants. “We have asked the federal government to increase the strength of police and provide us modern weapons to meet the challenge.”