QUETTA - Nine tankers carrying fuel supply for Nato forces stationed in Afghanistan were destroyed and a driver killed by militants in Kalat district in the wee hours of Friday.

Police said militants armed with rockets and guns attacked over two dozen oil tankers parked by the roadside before a hotel in Hajika area of Surab Tehsil prompting panic among locals. A huge fire broke out and engulfed a long queue of tankers, nearby shops and the hotel.

Assistant Commissioner Khuda-e-Rahim Mirwani said the assault came at around 2:00am. He said six to seven rockets were fired and of the 15 fuel supply tankers, nine were completely gutted. The official said the fire was so massive that it was not until six in the evening that firefighters, who were called in from Kalat city, could put it down. Mirwani told newsmen the victim driver was identified as Samiullah. Witnesses said the attackers were heavily armed and used massive fire power to scare people.

Traffic on Quetta-Karachi National Highway remained disrupted for several hours because of the huge fire. A member of fire brigade staff conceded that they lacked equipment. They had to depend on a single fire tender to bring water by making several shuttle trips.  There was no immediate claim about the responsibility for the attack. A case has been registered and investigation is in progress.

MAN SHOT DEAD IN HARNAI

One man was killed and two others injured in two separate incidents of firing and landmine blast in Harnai and Subatpur town of Balochistan, on Friday.

According to police, unidentified armed assailants opened indiscriminate firing on a fruit shop at Harnai bazaar and fled from the scene.

Resultantly, an inmate said to be shop owner was killed and another passerby was injured in the attack.

Police after getting information rushed to the site and shifted the dead and injured to a nearby Civil Hospital. However, motive behind the murder is yet to be ascertained. In another incident, a man was injured in a landmine blast in Supatpur.

Police said that the landmine was planted at a road within the Hamidpur police limits when a pedestrian stepped on it which exploded and injured him seriously.

The injured was shifted to hospital and a case has been registered against unidentified persons.