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Pakistan Stops NATO Supplies After 16 People Killed in Blast

ISLAMABAD, May 21, 2011 (Xinhua) --

Pakistani authorities Saturday suspended supplies to the foreign troops in neighboring Afghanistan hours after a blast at an NATO oil tanker killed 16 persons, officials said.

An official said that suspected militants attacked and torched NATO oil tankers in two separate incidents late Friday night at Landikotal, a main town in Khyber region and the borer point of Torkham.

When locals gathered around the tanker at Landikotal to acquire the leaked oil, the tanker blew up due to gas pressure, killing 16 persons there.

Pakistan suspended supplies to nearly 160,000 U.S.-led NATO troops after the incident, officials in the region said.

Witnesses said that hundreds of NATO supplies trucks were stranded on the main Pakistan-Afghan highway after the blockade.

Officials said that some 70 percent supplies for the NATO troops are transported through Pakistan.

Militants, fighting Pakistani forces, regularly target NATO supply trucks, also forcing the U.S. to sign alternate supply routes with Russia.

Editor: Yang Lina

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