16 killed in tanker blast

AT LEAST 16 people were killed in north-west Pakistan yesterday after a bomb attack by a militant group hit a lorry carrying fuel supplies for Nato forces in Afghanistan.

It is the latest attack in an upsurge in violence since Osama bin Laden was killed, and took place near the Torkham border crossing in the Khyber region, the main route for moving supplies to Nato and American forces in Afghanistan.

"The tanker was on fire because of a blast late in the night. There was another blast early in the morning in the same tanker and 16 people who gathered near it to collect oil were killed," a local official said.

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In another attack in the same region, a bomb struck 16 Nato fuel tankers late on Friday, setting them on fire. No one was hurt.

Militants have stepped up attacks in Pakistan since US special forces killed al Qaeda leader bin Laden in the town of Abbottabad earlier this month.