Explosives-packed vehicle is rammed into station used by army as a base in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and fighters open fire.
Armed men stormed a police station in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least five people, officials say, with the number of casualties expected to rise.
The attack took place on Tuesday in the city of Dera Ismail Khan in the restive province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, located at the edge of the lawless tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, also wounded at least 28 people, said Aizaz Mehmood, an official of the state-run rescue service. “We are still hearing gunshots,” he said.
However, the Reuters news agency reported quoting two security officials that there were at least 24 deaths at the police station, being used by the Pakistani army as a base camp.
“Many of them were killed while they were sleeping and in civilian clothes so we are still determining if they are all military personnel,” an official was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
The fighters rammed a vehicle laden with explosives into the main gate of the police station, following up with a gun attack, according to officials.
Pakistani group Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), which has emerged recently, said its fighters carried out the attack aimed at the Pakistani army, in a statement quoted by Reuters.
Former Pakistan Taliban stronghold
It was not immediately clear if the group in question is linked to the main armed outlawed group Pakistan Taliban, known by the acronym TTP, which has targeted the state and its institutions for years.
Dera Ismail Khan is a former stronghold of the TTP, which seeks to overthrow the government and replace it with their harsh brand of religious laws.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has witnessed a rise in violence with several deadly attacks. In January, at least 101 people were killed when a suicide bomber targeted a mosque in Peshawar.
Authorities say fighters have become emboldened while living openly in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of that country in 2021.
The TTP, though a separate group, is closely allied with the Taliban in Afghanistan.