Taliban attack on Pakistan police kills 6: officials
PESHAWAR - Agence France-Press
Pakistani security personnel gather at the site of suicide attacks on a police station in the outskirts of Bannu on December 10, 2012. AFP photoTaliban suicide bombers besieged a Pakistani police station on Monday, killing six people near the militant stronghold of North Waziristan that borders Afghanistan, officials said.
Militants heavily armed with suicide vests, guns, grenades and rockets raided the police station in Kaki, 13 kilometres (eight miles) southwest of Bannu town which lies close to Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal region.
Two of them blew themselves up during the clashes but a third managed to escape, the officials told AFP.
"Three militants attacked the Kaki police station. They killed three policemen and two civilians," the information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, told AFP.
Hospital officials said another civilian later died of his injuries, taking the death toll to six.
"There were nine injured, including six policemen and three civilians. A wounded civilian later expired," said Mohammed Iqbal, who heads Bannu hospital.
Police said the attack lasted around an hour, during which the militants used guns, grenades and rocket-propelled grenades in an exchange of fire that damaged the police station, a nearby mosque, house and three shops.
Pakistan's umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban faction claimed responsibility, saying the attack was to avenge the killing by police of a nephew of its founder, warlord Baitullah Mehsud who was himself killed in a US drone attack in 2009.
"We will continue such attacks against this secular government," spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan confirmed to AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.
Mehsud's nephew, himself a Taliban commander, was shot dead by police in Bannu last month, local police said.
The Pakistani Taliban frequently target security forces with bomb and gun attacks as part of a five-year insurgency concentrated in the northwest.
Bannu lies close to North Waziristan, the most infamous militant bastion in Pakistan that US officials say is used as a launchpad for attacks in Afghanistan. US drones target fighters there.