Pakistan to reopen Khyber pass for US-NATO troops supply
Authorities suspended supplies through the Khyber Pass to the Afghan border on Tuesday to clear the way for the military to launch an offensive.
Pakistan will reopen the main supply route for U.S.led-Western forces in Afghanistan in the next few days after security forces achieved most of their objectives in an offensive, a Pakistani official said on Thursday.
Authorities suspended the shipment of supplies through the Khyber Pass to the Afghan border on Tuesday to clear the way for the military to launch an offensive aimed at ending surging attacks on the route to cut off the military supplies into Afghanistan territory.
"We have achieved more than 80 percent of objectives and from tomorrow the curfew will be relaxed, while the main road will be opened in the next two to three days," Tariq Hayat Khan, the top government administrator in Khyber, told reporters.
The Khyber Pass runs between the northwestern city of Peshawar and the border town of Torkham and is a vital supply line for more than 65,000 U.S.-led Western troops expending in land-locked Afghanistan.
Fighters in Khyber have been trying to choke off supplies for months and have destroyed hundreds of trucks.
Security officials and residents said most of the Taliban fighters apparently fled to the neighbouring Mohmand region.
Fighters melted away in June when security forces launched a similar sweep in Khyber only to resume attacks later.
Many truckers have stopped working on the road because of the attacks. Western military supplies had been disrupted but not cut off until authorities sealed the route on Tuesday.
A second overland route is through the town of Chaman to the southwest leading to the Afghan city of Kandahar.
Reuters Last Mod: 01 Ocak 2009, 17:56