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Taliban insurgents set oil tankers ablaze in Afghanistan


Taliban fighters pose with weapons at an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan in this May 5, 2011 picture. REUTERS/Stringer
Taliban fighters pose with weapons at an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan in this May 5, 2011 picture. REUTERS/Stringer

KABUL (Reuters) - Taliban insurgents set fire on Saturday to about 200 oil tanker trucks supplying fuel for NATO forces in an attack just outside the Afghan capital Kabul, police said.

Television footage showed black smoke billowing above the site of the attack, with the charred wreckage of dozens of trucks scattered around a vast parking space.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the trucks carried fuel intended for U.S.-led NATO forces.

It was unclear how the fire was started. Some Afghan media reported that insurgents had fired rockets at the tankers late on Friday. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

"The number of tankers on fire is not yet clear, but based on preliminary reports from police around 200 tankers have been burnt," the interior ministry said in a statement.

The attack happened as Afghanistan prepares to announce preliminary results of the final round of a presidential election on Monday in a tense atmosphere. Each of the two candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai accuses the other of mass fraud.

The Taliban have vowed to disrupt the election process. On Thursday, militants fired rockets into Kabul's international airport, destroying a helicopter.

(Reporting by Mirwais Harooni Writing by Maria Golovnina; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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