Nine dead in Pakistan suicide bombing (Lead)

January 14th, 2012 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, Jan 14 (IANS) At least nine people, including two policemen and three suicide bombers, were killed Saturday when militants attacked a police office in northwestern Pakistan. Interior Minister Rehman Malik has condemned the attack.

The bombing took place at around 2 p.m. in Dera Ismail Khan city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Xinhua reported citing Urdu TV channel Dunya.

Samaa TV said the attack that lasted for more than an hour was carried out by 10 armed militants who stormed the office of District Police Officer Khalid Sohail.

There were an estimated 50 people inside the building when the attack took place.

The attackers were reportedly wearing police uniforms. One suicide bomber blew himself up soon after entering the main gate of the office while his nine accomplices hurled hand grenades at the people inside.

Following the bombing, there was an exchange of fire between the militants and police.

Another suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest during the gun-battle while a third bomber was shot dead by police.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Army and other police personnel stationed in the nearby areas were called in when the attack was reported.

Three injured militants were arrested while the others escaped.

Malik said that during the last few months, security forces had become the main targets of militants. Militants were trying to demoralise them by repeated attacks on law enforcement agencies.

The interior minister also rejected reports that said the government was having peace talks with the Taliban.

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