BANNU: Six militants believed to be suicide bombers were killed and one policeman was injured as police countered a huge attack by militants on the Maryan police station in Frontier Region Bannu in the wee hours of Thursday.
District Police Officer Nisar Tanoli said the attack on the police station had been successfully encountered and six militants were killed.
He said five suicide bombers had been killed by the security forces during the encounter while the sixth blew himself up when he was holed up inside the police station.
On the losses incurred by the police, he said only one policeman was injured in the attack and slight damage came to the police station's walls but the law enforcement agencies had successfully foiled the attack.
The outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the suicide mission on the police station.
Speaking to Dawn.com, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said the group's fighters had attacked the police station but refused to disclose the number of attackers. Ehsan added all the attackers were "suicide bombers and would fight until martyrdom".
He said the attack was launched to avenge the killings of TTP fighters in custody and whose bodies were thrown in Miramshah.
The TTP spokesman said the number of attackers was not as high as being claimed by security agencies but said they had inflicted huge losses on the police and security forces.
Official sources quoted intelligence officials as saying that the militants had fired rockets and stormed into the police station which led to an ensuing gun battle between security forces and the attackers.
During the gun-battle, security forces claimed to have killed at least four suicide bombers while the intelligence sources say the militants blew themselves up causing huge damage inside the police station.
The officials believe though exact number of the attackers is being ascertained, the initial reports said they might be five to six in number as the gun battle is still going on inside the police station.
Another security official claimed that two suicide bombers were blown to pieces as security forces on guard duty challenged and shot at them.
Reinforcements had also been called in and both police and paramilitary troops had taken positions.
After the Bannu jail break incident last year, the militants had again launched a coordinated attack on another police station in the district, the bordering settled town of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with North Waziristan Agency, believed to be a safe heaven for Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.
Separately, militants launched a rocket attack on a security check post near the Gurgur Gas oil field but the militants managed to escape after the security forces repulsed the attack.