Heavily armed militants attacked a police station near Pakistan's restive South Waziristan tribal region and killed two police officers on Wednesday, raising questions about a ceasefire reportedly declared by the local Taliban.
The militants, who were travelling in three vehicles, fired rockets at the police station in Dera Ismail Khan district at 4 am, state-run PTV reported.
The militants then surrounded the police station and lobbed several grenades into the building.
A police officer was among the dead, district police chief Suhail Khalid said.
Four policemen were injured in the attack.
They were taken to a hospital in Dera Ismail Khan city.
Khalid said police reinforcements were called in to fight the militants, who took advantage of the darkness to launch the attack.
Policemen and militants exchanged fire for nearly two hours before the rebels fled.
The attack damaged the police station, Khalid said.
Police sources said the militants might have arrived from South Waziristan Agency, which is located near the police station.
No group claimed responsibility but authorities blamed Taliban militants for the pre-dawn attack.
The attack was carried out hours after conflicting media reports that Taliban militants had declared a ceasefire to give a chance to peace talks with the government.
Unidentified Taliban commanders were quoted by the Western media as saying that they had held exploratory talks with the government to end violence in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Army and interior minister Rehman Malik rejected reports of the talks as baseless.
Malik said the Taliban had sent some "positive signals" regarding talks and asked the Taliban to shun violence and surrender weapons before any talks are held.