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At least 16 dead in Nato tanker fire in Khyber

May 21, 2011

Earlier, 11 other Nato supply containers and oil tankers were destroyed in nearby Torkham town, an official said. –File Photo

PESHAWAR: At least 16 people were killed in an oil tanker blaze after a bomb exploded on the Afghanistan-bound Nato oil tanker near Landi Kotal on Saturday, officials said.

The victims were young people who had gathered to collect oil leaking from the tanker near Landi Kotal in the northwestern tribal region of Khyber, local administration official Shafeerullah Wazir said.

Among the dead, at least 10 belonged to the same family, DawnNews reported.

“The oil tanker caught fire after a blast caused by a small bomb before dawn,” he said. “Villagers from nearby houses rushed and started collecting oil coming out of the destroyed tanker after the fire had been extinguished,” he said.

Earlier, 11 other Nato supply containers and oil tankers were destroyed in nearby Torkham town, another administration official, Iqbal Khattak, said.

“The vehicles caught fire after a blast in one of the tankers around midnight last night,” he said, adding that the blast was apparently caused by a remote-controlled device planted under one of the vehicles.

“There were no casualties,” Khattak told AFP.

Wazir confirmed the overnight attack, saying that a total of 12 Nato vehicles had been destroyed in the two incidents.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast but the Taliban have claimed such attacks in the past.

The attacks on Nato supply vehicles came after the Taliban bombed a US consulate convoy in Peshawar on Friday, killing one person and wounding 10 others in the first attack on Americans in Pakistan since Osama bin Laden's death.

A US embassy spokesman said two US government employees were lightly wounded in the rush-hour attack.