At least 20 killed as fighters storm police station in northwest Pakistan | News

Explosives-packed vehicle is rammed into station used by army as a base in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and fighters open fire.

Armed men have stormed a military base in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 20 people, a military source told Al Jazeera, with the number of casualties expected to rise.

The attack 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.

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 Reuters news agency quoted two security officials as saying that there were at least 24 deaths at the police station, being used by the Pakistani army as a base camp.

Separately, an official told AFP news agency that many of the victims “were killed while they were sleeping and in civilian clothes so we are still determining if they are all military personnel”.

The fighters rammed a vehicle laden with explosives into the main gate of the police station, following up with a gun attack, according to officials.

Pakistani group Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), which has emerged recently, 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 brand of 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.


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