Twenty one Pakistani security personnel -- kidnapped by the Taliban from check posts near Peshawar -- were gunned down by the militants on Sunday, police officials said.
The bullet-riddled bodies of the policemen were found in Jabai area of Frontier Region Peshawar, located a short distance from the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, shortly after midnight.
They were reportedly shot dead at a cricket ground.
Two more kidnapped security personnel escaped and one of them was seriously injured.
One of these personnel alerted local authorities, who found the bodies.
The Taliban had kidnapped 23 personnel of the Levies militia after overrunning three check posts early on Thursday.
Over 200 militants armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades had attacked the posts.
Two security personnel were killed in the attack.
The attackers, who were wearing uniforms of security forces, had taken away weapons and vehicles from the check posts.
The political administration had asked tribal elders of Frontier Region Peshawar to help recover the 23 kidnapped personnel.
The Darra Adam Khel faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan had claimed responsibility for the attack on the check posts.
Police officials had said on Saturday that the elders had established contact with the militants and started negotiations for the release of the kidnapped personnel.
The Taliban have carried out a string of high profile attacks in Peshawar and its surrounding areas this month.
Leading anti-Taliban politician Bashir Ahmad Bilour and eight others were killed by a suicide bomber last week.