Pakistani Offensive Shuts US Supply Line to Afghanistan

Crackdown targets Khyber Pass militants
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 30, 2008 8:45 AM CST
A truck carrying materials for US and NATO troops drives on a highway in Surobi, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008.    (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
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(Newser) – Pakistan closed the main route used to ferry supplies to US and allied troops in Afghanistan today after launching a fresh offensive against militants in the area. The road through the Khyber Pass in the northwest of Pakistan has faced increasing attacks by militants seeking to squeeze Western forces fighting a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan in recent months.

US and NATO soldiers in landlocked Afghanistan rely on the winding, mountainous route for delivery of up to 75% of their fuel, food, and other logistical goods, which arrive in Pakistan via the port city of Karachi. Officers insist the attacks are not disrupting their mission in Afghanistan. A civilian administrator in Khyber said the army launched the offensive against insurgents after they ignored a deadline to surrender.