Dozens of militants attacked a police station in northern Pakistan early Monday, killing at least 10 officers, a senior commander said. The assault comes just days before Pakistan votes in a general election that has already seen dozens of attacks on candidates and party supporters.
“More than 30 terrorists launched an attack from three directions. There was an exchange of fire for over two-and-a-half hours,” Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial police chief Akhtar Hayat Gandapur told AFP.
He said 10 officers were killed and four wounded in the attack on Chaudhwan police station in Dera Ismail Khan district.
The border regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have for years seen Pakistan Taliban, Islamic State and other groups attacking government and security targets, as well as targeting civilians.
Gandapur told AFP the attackers briefly seized control of the police station during the assault in the early hours of Monday.
At least 24 militants were killed last week when ethnic Baloch separatists launched raids on a compound of government facilities in a remote part of Pakistan’s southwest, the military said.
Four security personnel and two civilians were killed during the attack and subsequent search operations.
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a banned Baloch separatist group, claimed responsibility for that attack in a statement on social media.
Pakistan’s election commission last week said polls would go ahead as planned on Thursday, February 8, after it held an urgent meeting with security officials following a spate of violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces.
Thousands of security personnel will be deployed across the country to provide safety to voters.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)