Afghan officials Thursday said that 37 NATO trucks were blown up when three Taliban suicide bombers launched an attack on the Pakistan border, triggering a gun battle between police forces and the militants, Associated Press, or AP, reported.
The suicide bombers reportedly attacked fuel-filled trucks parked at a NATO outpost in Nangarhar province in the country's east. While one suicide bomber died after detonating near the trucks, the other two were killed in a gun battle with local police. Idris Momand, a spokesperson for the border police in the region said, according to AP, that the attack took place near the Torkham border crossing, which is one of the principal supply routes for the U.S.-led alliance, connecting Kabul and Jalalabad with Pakistani cities to the east.
Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson, reportedly said his group took responsibility for the attack, which was aimed at interrupting supplies being sent to U.S. troops in the region, according to AP. The latest attack follows the Pakistani military's move to launch a full-scale military operation against militants in North Waziristan after the Pakistani Taliban launched a series of attacks at and near Karachi International Airport last week.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban have vowed to disrupt the ongoing presidential election process. More than 50 people were killed on Saturday alone, while 11 police officers and 20 soldiers were also killed, in separate attacks.
Meanwhile, leading presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday accused his main rival Ashraf Ghani of rigging the voting process and demanded that the country’s Election Commission pause the vote-count.
"We suspend engagement with the (election) commission and we have asked our monitors to leave their offices," Abdullah said, according to AP, adding: "We are asking for the counting process to be stopped immediately."
More than 51,000 NATO-led troops are stationed in Afghanistan, according to media reports.