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Nato tankers
The tankers were gutted and the assailants managed to escape from the scene. — Photo by Reuters

QUETTA: Gunmen in southwestern Pakistan attacked five oil tankers carrying supplies to Nato troops in Afghanistan, officials said Monday.

The incident took place near the town of Mithri, some 230 kilometres southeast of Quetta, in Balochistan province which borders Iran and Afghanistan.

“Unknown gunmen fired at five Nato oil tankers. Two of them caught fire while oil leaked from three others,” district administration chief Muhammad Azam told AFP.

“There were no injuries to drivers,” he said.

Local intelligence officials confirmed the attack.

Nato trucks and oil tankers are regularly the targets of arson attacks blamed on insurgents attempting to disrupt two key supply lines that cross western Pakistan bound for foreign troops fighting in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Most supplies and equipment required by coalition troops in Afghanistan are shipped through Pakistan, although US troops increasingly use alternative routes through central Asia.