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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Taliban’s Khyber Pass Hijacking Threatens NATO Supply Route,", November 11, 2008

[The Associated Press cites Fazal Mahmood, an administration official for the Khyber tribal region, as a source for its story which includes gunfire traded between Pakistani security forces and some 60 armed hijackers. However, neither deaths nor injuries are reported. -jlt]

Without firing a shot, dozens of militants along the Khyber Pass border between Pakistan and Afghanistan managed to hijack a convoy of trucks bound for NATO forces in Afghanistan. One of the trucks was carrying Humvees, which the militants proudly took photos in front of.

The hijacking threatens the only practical supply route for international troops in the landlocked nation. Hijackings on the route are not unheard of, though this is of a larger scale. This is the same border crossing which the Pakistan government closed in early September in the wake of a US ground assault into South Waziristan, and the latest incident may call further into doubt NATO’s supply line to international forces in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani government says its forces still hope to recover the hijacked trucks. It is unclear if the hijackings are related to a NATO air strike in Khyber Agency on Sunday, which killed eight people and reportedly came after a brief border exchange of fire.

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