Three cops, 3 rebels killed in Peshawar suicide attack (Second Lead)

February 24th, 2012 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 24 (IANS) Three policemen were killed and six others injured Friday when three heavily armed suicide attackers went on a shooting spree and hurled grenades at a police station in Pakistan’s Peshawar city. Hours later a suspected terrorist was injured while planting a bomb.

The brazen attack was carried out a day after a deadly car bomb killed over a dozen people and injured more than 20 in Peshawar.

The first attack at a police station was carried out by three terrorists to avenge the killing of an Al Qaeda leader in a drone strike while in the second strike an improvised explosive device was triggered at a roadside.

A fierce gun battle raged for nearly two hours Friday morning as police personnel mounted a strong counter-attack against the three attackers, who blew themselves up, said police officer Imtiaz Altaf.

The terror attack began around 7 a.m. when the three rebels armed with sophisticated weapons and wearing suicide jackets sneaked into the police station in the Lahore Gate area of Peshawar city from the rear gate of the building, reported Xinhua.

They first hid in the TV lounge of the police station and then opened fire and hurled grenades at the police personnel inside the building, said Munawar Khan, a sub-inspector at the police station.

Khan told the media there were an estimated 20 policemen inside the building when the police station was attacked. The injured sub-inspector later died at the Lady Reading Hospital.

A large contingent of police and security forces was called in when the police station was attacked. The reinforcements quickly encircled the police station and exchanged fire with the attackers.

“They blew themselves up in frustration,” said Imtiaz Altaf.

“We have found body parts of the three attackers,” he said, adding the three attackers were all aged below 20.

A bomb disposal squad found seven handgrenades on the spot. They said an estimated five to six kg of explosives were used by the suicide attackers.

The police station is located in a thickly populated area and people remained indoors during the shooting. A girls school is also located near the police station building.

A terror group calling itself the Sheikh Abdullah Azzam faction claimed the responsibility for the police station attack, reported Geo News. It said the attack was carried out to avenge the killing of Al Qaeda leader Badar Mansoor in a recent drone attack.

As the security forces hurried to thwart the police station terror attack, a suspected terrorist got injured when a bomb he was planting blew up near Gulshan Colony on the outskirts of Peshawar city.

Police said the blast also damaged many vehicles, reported Geo News.

The blast occurred when a suspected militant was planting the improvised explosive device, a police official said.

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