BANNU, July 16: Two burqa-clad militants stormed a police arsenal and special branch office here on Monday and both of them were killed in an ensuing clash with police.

According to officials, the two bombers, who were wearing suicide vests, entered the armoury and special branch office in the old building of the city police station and fired at the guard, injuring him seriously.

They hurled grenades and held eight policemen hostage.

DIG Nisar Ahmad Tanoli and DPO Waqar Ahmad reached the place with a heavy contingent of police which encircled the area. Army and FC platoons aided by armoured personnel carriers were also called in as militants holed up inside the building.

Security personnel shot dead one of the attackers while the other blew himself up. Two policemen were injured but the eight hostages were safely rescued.

DPO Waqar Ahmad told reporters that the militants had come to the area on motorcycles and their handlers had left after dropping them near the special branch office.

He said the attack might have been carried out to avenge a police operation against militants in Bannu district.

Some sources said the attack had been carried out by four militants but police officials insisted that there were only two attackers and all the people detained on suspicion had been freed after interrogation.

Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to AFP.