Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pakistan closes strategic NW highway

Pakistan's government has closed Torkham strategic highway in its northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for two days, provincial officials say.

Pakistani security officials said the reason for closing Torkham highway was maintaining security during Ashura mourning ceremonies marking the commemoration of the martyrdom of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (PBUH), a Press TV correspondent reported on Thursday. 

Torkham strategic highway links Pakistan to neighboring Afghanistan. 

According to the officials, no fuel trucks destined for US-led NATO troops in war-torn Afghanistan are allowed to pass through Torkham highway. 

Pakistani officials have also banned the entry of Afghan refugees to Pakistani cities. 

Meanwhile, unknown militants set a NATO fuel truck on fire in southwestern Balochistan province. 

Armed militants stopped a NATO fuel truck and its driver as hostage at gunpoint. Later, they torched the truck in Kalat district, some 145 kilometers from the provincial capital, Quetta, on Wednesday. 

The fuel truck was carrying fuel for the US-led NATO troops stationed in war-ravaged Afghanistan. 

Security forces cordoned off the area and started search operation for arresting the attackers.

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