BANNU, Dec 10: Six people, among them three policemen, were killed and five others injured in a gun-and-suicide attack on a police station in Bannu on Monday, the area residents and police officials said.
Carrying hand-grenades and weapons and explosives strapped to their bodies, two militants struck the Kakki police station, some 14km south of Bannu, at around 6:15am. Eyewitnesses said the attackers hurled hand-grenades at the police station before opening fire.
They said that police retaliated and stopped the attackers from entering the police station. The workers of Chagha party (volunteers), police reinforcement from the Bannu city and security personnel rushed to the area and cordoned off it and asked the residents to leave their houses.
The attackers took position in a mosque in front of the police station and the exchange of fire continued for an hour and a half before both attackers blew themselves up.
Six people, including three policemen, were killed and five others wounded. The deceased police personnel were identified as Constables Imran, Bashir Khan and Ziauddin and civilians as Hayatullah, Balqayaz and Naeemullah. Locals claimed that Naeemullah, a resident of the area, was a soldier in the army and had come to home on leave.
The injured, including SHO Abdul Hameed Marwat and Constables Syed Rehman and Akif, were taken to the district headquarters hospital Bannu.
Commissioner Bannu Division Syed Amiruddin, DIG Police Nisar Ahmed Khan Tanoli and DPO Waqar Ahmed visited the injured in the hospital.
Funeral prayers for the policemen were offered at the Bannu Police Lines and for civilians in Kakki. They were buried in their ancestral graveyards.
A few days ago, a suicide bomber blew up his explosive-laden vehicle near the Haweed police station.
AFP adds: Officials said a third attacker managed to escape. “Three militants attacked the Kakki police station. They killed three policemen and two civilians,” Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said.
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.
The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility, saying the attack was to avenge the killing by police of a nephew of its founder, Baitullah Mehsud who was himself killed in a US drone strike 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, police said.