Taliban hit NATO supplies in Peshawar —again

Pakistani Taliban militants torched supplies destined for NATO forces in Afghanistan for a second day running Dec. 8, raiding a container terminal on the outskirts of Peshawar—just over a mile from the previous day’s attack, in which gunmen torched more than 100 trucks. About 50 containers were destroyed in the new raid. “The militants came just past midnight, firing in the air, sprinkled petrol on containers and then set them on fire,” a security guard at the terminal told Reuters. “They told us they would not harm us, but they asked us not to work for the Americans.”

The attacks come as the Taliban chief, Mullah Mohammed Omar, urged Western forces to leave Afghanistan, warning of a renewed insurgency. Omar, believed to be hiding in the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan, said in an Internet statement: “I would like to remind the illegal invaders who have invaded our defenceless and oppressed people that it is a golden opportunity for you at present to hammer out an exit strategy for your forces. The current armed clashes which now number into tens will spiral up to hundreds of armed clashes. Your current casualties of hundreds will jack up into the thousands.”

Europe’s International Council on Security and Development (ICOS, formerly the Senlis Council), has issued a new report (“Struggle for Kabul: The Taliban Advance“) finding that the Taliban have a permanent presence in 72% of Afghanistan’s territory, up from 54% last year, and is fast expanding its control beyond the south of the country. The think-tank reports that three of the four main routes leading out of Kabul are threatened by the Taliban. (The Guardian, Dec. 8)

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