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Six killed in attack on Nato trucks in Pakistan

Suspected militants attacked trucks carrying military vehicles for foreign forces in Afghanistan close to Pakistan's capital, killing six people and wounding seven others.

Insurgents have occasionally attacked the convoys over the last two years, but the strike was the first so close to the well-protected city of Islamabad, something likely to cause particular unease.

Much of the supplies and fuel for the US-led force in landlocked Afghanistan are trucked through Pakistan after arriving on ships docked at the Arabian Sea port of Karachi.

An Associated Press photographer saw around 20 containers on fire at a depot or truck stop on the main road leading to the north-western border with Afghanistan, about six miles from Islamabad. Many were carrying military vehicles such as Humvees.

A gang of around 15 suspected militants first opened fire with automatic weapons and grenades before setting fire to the trucks, said police officer Kalim Imam. He said police were not aware that depot was used by trucks carrying supplies for Nato and US forces in Afghanistan. Another officer said the attackers arrived and escaped in two cars and on motorbikes.

Mr Imam said six people were killed and seven wounded. Their identities were not known.

The convoy attacks have added impetus to American efforts to open new supply lines into Afghanistan, but commanders say they have not affected operations there. Guns, bombs and ammunition are not believed to be transported in the trucks, thousands of which make the journey each week.

It is a lucrative business for truckers, but angers Pakistanis opposed to American involvement in Afghanistan.

Since 2007, Pakistan has been hit by a bloody Islamist uprising aimed at overthrowing the US-allied government. Militants with bases along the remote Afghan border in the north west have regularly attacked government and security force targets around the country.

On Monday one such group of militants, the Pakistani Taliban, staged a public execution in front of hundreds of tribesmen in the north-western region of North Waziristan, illustrating the level of insurgent control there, officials and a resident said.

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