Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomenewsAt least 23 killed as fighters storm police station in northwest Pakistan

At least 23 killed as fighters storm police station in northwest Pakistan

Fighters have stormed a military post in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 23 people in a gun and suicide bomb attack, according to the Pakistani military.

The incident took place on Tuesday in the town of Daraban, about 60km (37 miles) from Dera Ismail Khan city, in the restive province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, located at the edge of the lawless tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

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The fighters rammed a vehicle laden with explosives into the main gate of the police station, followed by a suicide bombing attack, said a statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistani army’s media branch.

“The resulting blasts led to the collapse of the building, causing multiple casualties,” the ISPR said, adding that six attackers who took part in the assault were killed.

At least 34 people were injured and taken to a military hospital in Dera Ismail Khan, sources in the rescue team told Al Jazeera.

The ISPR said that “sanitisation operations are being conducted to eliminate any other terrorist present in the area”.

Pakistani group Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP) said in a statement that its fighters carried out the attack aimed at the Pakistani army.


Former Pakistan Taliban stronghold

The TJP claims to be linked to the Pakistani Taliban, known by the acronym TTP, an outlawed armed group which has targeted the state and its institutions for years.

Dera Ismail Khan is a former stronghold of the TTP, which seeks to overthrow the government and replace it with their harsh religious laws.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has witnessed a rise in violence with several deadly attacks. In January, at least 101 people were killed when a suicide bomber targeted a mosque in Peshawar.

Authorities say fighters have become emboldened while living openly in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of that country in 2021.

The TTP, though a separate group, is closely allied with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Abid Hussain in Islamabad contributed to this report.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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