Pak: Suicide bombers kill 4 cops at police station

Last Updated: Friday, February 24, 2012 - 21:34

Islamabad: Suicide attackers armed with guns
and grenades on Friday stormed a police station in Peshawar,
killing at least four policemen, including two officers, and
injuring eight others, a day after a car bomb strike left 13
people dead in the northwest Pakistani city.

The militants numbering three lobbed grenades and fired
indiscriminately as they forced their way into `Kotwali`
police station, located in a congested neighbourhood in the
heart of Peshawar, early this morning.

The attackers exchanged fire with policemen inside the
building for almost 40 minutes.

Peshawar police chief Imtiaz Altaf said three policemen,
including a sub-inspector, were killed instantly.

An assistant sub-inspector succumbed to his injuries in
hospital, other officials said.

Eight policemen were injured and officials at Lady
Reading Hospital described the condition of two of them as
critical.

Altaf said the militants hurled grenades at policemen
guarding the gates of the police station.

The policemen promptly responded and surrounded the
attackers, who were left with "no other option but to explode
themselves," he said.

The brazen attack on the police station came a day after
a car bombing at a bus terminal in Peshawar killed 13 people
and injured nearly 40 others.

The Abdullah Azam militant group claimed responsibility
for today`s strike and warned it would carry out more attacks
to avenge US drone strikes in Pakistan`s tribal belt.

Officials said the Kotwali police station was attacked
because it houses a large number of security personnel.

The police station is one of the largest in Peshawar and
over 300 policemen were present in the multi-storey building
at the time of the attack.

Besides housing recruits, the building has an office of
the Special Branch and residential quarters are attached to
it.

Two of the attackers appeared to be brothers as they had
similar facial features, Mian Iftikhar Hussian, Information
Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, told reporters in
Peshawar.

The heads and body parts of the attackers were found and
sent for forensic tests.

Footage on television showed the walls of the police
station were blackened by explosions. The walls were pitted by
shrapnel and bullets.

Debris lay strewn in rooms of the building where the
attackers blew themselves up.

Local residents said they had heard three small blasts
followed by a huge explosion and gunfire.

A girls` school is located near the police station and
students could not get out of the building because of fear,
they said.

Police chief Altaf said the attack was repulsed due to
security measures adopted by the police and heavy losses were
avoided.

The hideouts of militants had been targeted in recent
operations by security forces and the rebels were now
attacking security personnel in retaliation, he said.

Shortly after the attack, a suspected militant was
injured when an improvised explosive device went off while he
was trying to plant it by the roadside in Gulshan Colony area
of Peshawar.

The man`s accomplice managed to escape but he was
arrested and taken to hospital, police said.
Several cars were damaged by the blast.

PTI



First Published: Friday, February 24, 2012 - 21:34

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