Fuel trucks explode in Pakistan

| Thursday, January 09, 2003

Two Pakistani fuel trucks exploded near an airport where U.S. military personnel are based in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, U.S. military and local officials said today in a report from Agence France-Presse.

One driver was wounded in the blast.

"We believe a bomb was planted on one of the trucks," Khalid Pashtun, the spokesman for the Kandahar governor, told AFP by telephone. The trucks had arrived from the Pakistani city of Karachi carrying fuel to service U.S. military aircraft at the base, Pashtun said.

Terrorism via trucks is a growing concern.

In April, a terrorist drove a truck carrying liquefied natural gas and ignited his cargo in front of a synagogue in Tunisia, killing 21 tourists. In May and August, terrorists attached remotely triggered bombs to Israeli fuel tankers.

There's also concern that similar attacks could happen on U.S. soil.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) recently said fuel-laden trucks carrying hazardous materials were potential terrorist weapons the federal government needed to more closely regulate.

"The TSA has done an admirable job with securing our airports, and now I respectfully urge that the TSA put the same effort into ensuring the safety of our trucks," Schumer wrote in a letter to the Transportation Security Administration. "As I am sure you are aware, the imminent danger posed by unsecured trucks has been highlighted by three attacks this year in which fuel-laden trucks were used."

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