Policemen inspect a police station following a bomb blast in Peshawar on February 24. —AFP Photo

PESHAWAR: Taliban suicide bombers armed with assault rifles and grenades attacked a large police station in Peshawar early Friday, killing four officers in an assault meant to avenge the death of a militant commander in a US drone strike.

City police chief Imtiaz Altaf said three militants entered the compound after attacking the main gate, then blew themselves up when police returned fire, he said.

''They wanted to occupy this police station, but they failed,'' he told reporters. Four policemen were killed and six wounded in the attack, said police officer Sattar Khan.

There were more than 370 policemen at the station at the time of the assault, said provincial Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain.

The number of policemen was so high because authorities send graduates of the police training academy to the station for 18 months before stationing them at other posts.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan told The Associated Press the attack was carried out by an affiliated group, the Abdullah Azzam Brigade.

Abu Zarar, a man who claimed to be a spokesman for the Abdullah Azzam Brigade, also told the AP that the group executed the attack.

He said it was in response to the death of one of the group's commanders, Badar Mansoor, in a US drone strike on Feb. 9.

Ahsan, the Taliban spokesman, denied the group carried out a car bombing that killed 12 people at an outdoor minibus terminal in Peshawar on Thursday.

Meanwhile in a separate incident, two men planting a homemade bomb at the side of a road were wounded when it exploded, police officials said.

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