A bomb set off by the Taliban in northern Afghanistan destroyed 22 NATO fuel tankers that were en route to coalition troops on Wednesday.
Officials told the BBC that the bomb was attached underneath a truck and when it went off, it triggered several explosions that consumed the nearly two dozen tankers. They were parked at a rest stop in Samangan Province, located in the country’s north.
“Since it was early in the morning, there were not a lot of people around. Otherwise, it could have caused a lot more casualties,” an official told the BBC
The trucks came in through the nearby Central Asian country of Uzbekistan. Last year, Pakistan banned NATO convoys from using routes inside its country, as retaliation against an accidental U.S. air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The ban was recently lifted, but traffic has not yet returned to normal.
Sidiq Azizi, a government spokesperson for the province, told The Associated Press that “there was a big boom,” adding, “I counted 20 fuel tankers burning. There is still a very big fire. The weather is very hot and it’s hard to get close to the fire.”
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.“We put explosives on a fuel tanker. When it exploded, we fired on the trucks,” Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid told AP via telephone.
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