Gunmen kill 3 police, 1 guard in NW Pakistan | world | Hindustan Times
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Gunmen kill 3 police, 1 guard in NW Pakistan

world Updated: Mar 18, 2009 11:59 IST

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Dozens of gunmen opened fire at a university in a northwest Pakistan region near the Afghan border early on Wednesday, killing three police officers and a security guard, authorities said.

The attack occurred in Lower Dir, which borders Pakistan's militant-plagued tribal regions and is near the Swat Valley, where the government recently agreed to impose Islamic law to strike a peace deal with the Taliban.

Local police official Pervez Rahim said the gunmen's identity was not clear, but that they fired upon police who were in a vehicle guarding the school. A university security guard was also shot and died on the spot, Rah said.

Dir lies next to the Bajur tribal region, where the Pakistani military recently declared victory over al-Qaida and Taliban fighters after a monthslong offensive. There are concerns that militants under fire might have fled over to safer areas. The US has pushed Pakistan to crack down on militants who use its soil as a base from which to plan attacks on American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

US officials have expressed concerns over the country's attempt to forge peace in Swat, a former tourist haven, by agreeing to impose Islamic law. A cease-fire between the Taliban and the military in the valley struck in February appears to be holding, and judges trained in Islamic law began reviewing cases in Swat earlier this week.