Four killed in Nato tankers attack

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The US uses Predator unmanned drones to combat militants (AP)

Militants in Pakistan have attacked tankers bringing fuel to Nato and US forces in Afghanistan, killing four people and causing a massive night-time blaze.

A group of around 15 militants armed with rockets and guns stormed a roadside terminal on the outskirts of the north-western city of Peshawar.

At least 12 tankers were set ablaze in the attack, said police officer Liaquat Ali Khan.

The dead men were drivers or their assistants, he said.

Much of the non-lethal supplies for the US-led operation in Afghanistan are trucked through Pakistan after arriving by sea in the port city of Karachi.

Islamist militants and criminals often attack the slow-moving convoys, but the vast majority get through unscathed. Pakistan also allows the United States to fire missiles from unmanned drones at militants on its side of the Afghan border.

The latest such attacks killed at least six people in the North Waziristan tribal region, Pakistani intelligence officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to brief the media.

They said two attacks on a house and a car occurred within minutes of each other. The identities of the victims were not released.

American officials do not publicly acknowledge the programme or say who they are targeting. Pakistani intelligence is believed to co-operate with the CIA in at least some of the attacks.

There were on average two attacks a week last year, the most intense period of strikes since the programme began in earnest in 2008. Most of the strikes hit North Waziristan, one of seven tribal regions in the border area and the only one where the Pakistani army has not launched any operations.

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