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Suicide attack kills 3 at police station

A suicide bomber driving a minibus attacked a police station in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, wrecking the building and killing at least two security officers, officials said.

world Updated: Oct 16, 2008 11:42 IST

At least three policemen were killed on Thursday when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive- laden car in a police station in Pakistan's restive Swat valley in a pre-dawn attack.

The attack in Mingora, the main city in Swat district, also injured over 20 security personnel, police said.

The bomber rammed his explosive-laden car inside the heavily guarded police station at 1 a.M., when most of the security personnel were asleep.

Officials said the security personnel on duty allowed the car inside the compound, thinking that it was a police armoured vehicle. But when they realized that it was not a police vehicle, they started firing at the car. The bomber then exploded the vehicle in center of the complex, a police officer said.

The attack destroyed several rooms in the police station and damaged nearby markets and houses, witnesses said.

The injured were taken to a hospital in nearby Saidu Sharif city. Three critically injured persons were later shifted to the North West Frontier Province capital of Peshawar, police said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack though the local Taliban are usually blamed for such strikes.

Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan yesterday defended suicide attacks, saying they are a reaction to military operations in the Pakistan's tribal belt and the Swat valley. His comments came a day after a council of senior Pakistani clerics declared suicide attacks as "un-Islamic" in a 'fatwa' or decree.

Suicide attacks have killed some 1,200 Pakistanis, most of them civilians, since July last year, according to military statistics released last month.