Taliban Strikes NATO Supply Depot in Pakistan

  • (Source: Voice of America news)
  • 12:00 AM, December 9, 2008
  • 1777
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan --- Taliban militants in Pakistan have raided another supply depot used to support international troops in Afghanistan as a new report estimated Taliban fighters have a permanent presence in nearly three-quarters of Afghanistan.>> In the past two days militants have stormed two warehouses in Peshawar that are key transport hubs for supply convoys moving between the Pakistani port of Karachi and military bases in Afghanistan.>> Sunday's assault by an estimated 300 fighters destroyed more than 160 trucks and military vehicles. On Monday, militants targeted another depot just two kilometers away, setting fire to about 50 shipping containers.>> Peshawar straddles Taliban-dominated areas of western Pakistan and has long been a key regional transit route. An estimated 70 percent of supplies for foreign troops in Afghanistan pass through the area. More than 90 percent of Afghanistan's foreign food aid relies on the route.>> U.S. military spokesman Colonel Jerry Ohara in Kabul downplayed the significance of the most recent raids, but said officials continue to consider alternate supply routes into Afghanistan.>> "Initial reports indicate this equipment was for the Afghan National Army. There are no immediate effects on our combat capability, but one of our priorities is to get the Afghan security force to increase their capability and capacity," he said.>> Boosting the capabilities of Afghanistan's army and police remains a key part of improving security in the country.>> But a new report by an international think tank said security is worsening in the country, even in the capital Kabul.