A Taliban militant and his wife carried out a suicide bombing on a police station in Pakistan on Saturday that killed 12 policemen, a Taliban spokesman said on Sunday.
The pair, armed with assault rifles and hand grenades, raided the compound and took a dozen policemen hostage for several hours in a town near the region of South Waziristan, a major al Qaeda and Taliban sanctuary on the Afghan border.
The operation further tarnished Pakistan's security establishment, which has suffered one setback after another since the killing of Osama bin Laden by US special forces on May 2.
The Taliban rarely use women suicide bombers. Saturday's attack suggests they are adopting new tactics in a campaign to topple the US-backed government. The pair shot dead five policemen and later blew themselves up after being attacked by commandos, killing seven more policemen, the police said.
Ehsanullah Ehsan, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman, said the assault was carried out in retaliation for Laden's killing and government attacks against militants.