Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
You Witness News
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Pakistani helicopters attack militants in Khyber
Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:20am EST
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Ibrahim Shinwari
JAMRUD, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani army helicopters attacked militants along the Khyber Pass on Wednesday while tanks rumbled in to secure the vital supply link for Western forces in land-locked Afghanistan.
Authorities suspended the shipment of supplies up to the Afghan border on Tuesday, to clear the way for the military to launch an offensive aimed at ending surging militant attacks on the route.
"Two helicopter gunships pounded militant hideouts while troops moved with tanks to secure the area," said Jehangir Khan Afridi, an administration official in the Khyber region.
The Khyber Pass runs between the northwestern city of Peshawar and the border town of Torkham and is a vital supply line for more than 65,000 Western troops battling the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.
The U.S. military sends 75 percent of supplies for the Afghan war through or over Pakistan, including 40 percent of the fuel for its troops, the U.S. Defense Department says.
A second overland route is through the town of Chaman to the southwest leading to the Afghan city of Kandahar, and is likely to become more important as the United States begins moving up to 30,000 new troops into Afghanistan next year.
Militants in Khyber have been trying to choke off supplies for months and have destroyed hundreds of trucks and killed several drivers.
Many truckers have stopped working on the road and supplies had been disrupted but not cut off until authorities sealed the route temporarily on Tuesday.
A spokesman for NATO's Afghan force welcomed the effort to make the route safer and played down the impact on military operations saying the force had stocks.
Nevertheless, the attacks have exposed the vulnerability of the route and forced the alliance to look for alternatives, including through Central Asia into northern Afghanistan.
Pakistani authorities have not said how long the pass will be sealed, only saying they are determined to clear out the militants.
"NO FIRE FROM MILITANTS"
Intelligence officials said on Tuesday troops had faced pockets of militant resistance and Afridi said two important militant hideouts had been destroyed.
But officials and residents said on Wednesday most insurgents had apparently fled the Khyber region to neighboring areas.
"There has been no fire from the militants. They must have fled to remote areas or to Mohmand," said resident Irfan Afridi, referring to a neighboring region where security forces have also been fighting Pakistani Taliban insurgents. Continued...
View article on single page
UPDATE 3-Aberdeen Asset buys Credit Suisse fund mgmt ops
Also on Reuters
Video: 2008: An historic year in U.S. politics
Slideshow: Stripping down to make a statement
Global whale "hot spot" discovered off East Timor
More International News
Israel says Gaza truce proposal unrealistic
Pakistani investigators find Mumbai link: report
Bangladesh poll winner Hasina says will share power
S.Korea to press North for talks, seeks U.S. help
Thai political crisis set to drag on in 2009
More International News...
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Apple shares turn negative on Jobs "rumor"
Kevin Bacon among latest hurt in Madoff scheme: reports
NASA says Columbia crew had no chance to survive
Researchers unlock secrets of 1918 flu pandemic
Facebook ban of breast-feeding photos sparks protests
"What are you doing here?": man asks wife at brothel
Obama's silence on Gaza confirms low Arab expectations
Paulson says U.S. lacked tools to tackle crisis: report
Blagojevich defies critics by naming Senator | Video
Consumer confidence and home prices hit grim records | Video
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Blagojevich picks Obama replacement
Talk of the Town: Comeback kid
Russian volcano erupts
Calls for truce as Gaza deaths rise
An historic year in U.S. politics
Iraq shoe thrower's trial postponed
Gazans seek refuge in schools
Rocket kills Israeli
Sarkozy's EU presidency ends
And Finally.. The Oddest of 2008.
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.