15 policemen die in Pak blast

Deadliest attack in Swat valley since army regained control

The bomber climbed over a wall and entered a ground in the police station in Mingora, the main city in Swat district, where about 60 personnel were being trained, and blew himself up.

North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said at least 12 policemen were killed. Geo TV put the toll at 15. Officials also said that more than 20 personnel were also injured. Personnel of a special police force, comprising members of the local community and retired army men, were being trained at the police station.

Policemen deployed at several check posts near the police station started firing after the blast, causing panicked locals to shut down shops in nearby markets. The police station is located at Nishat Chowk, a busy square where a large number of people were present. Curfew was imposed in Mingora soon after the blast. This was the third suicide attack on the police station.

The attack occurred despite security forces in Mingora being on high alert.
A semblance of normalcy had returned to most parts of Swat, located about 160 km from Islamabad, after the army regained control of areas held by Taliban fighters led by Maulana Fazlullah.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack though the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan recently said it would carry out strikes to avenge the killing of its chief Baitullah Mehsud.

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