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At least six police personnel including an assistant sub inspector (ASI) were martyred after a van on patrol came under gunfire in Lakki Marwat on Wednesday morning, with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Dr Arif Alvi “strongly denouncing the terror attack”, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

Initial reports indicated martyred personnel included four police constables, an ASI and the van driver.

AFP reported that gunmen with automatic rifles launched an attack at around 7am on a police vehicle patrolling the village of Shahab Khel, 100 km (60 miles) from the Afghan border.

"All the six policemen were killed" under fire from both sides, Tariqullah Khan, a district official in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said.

The death toll was confirmed by a second police official.

The AFP report added that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility, and said the police were "coming for a raid" when they were gunned down.

The TTP added in its statement its own fighters "managed to reach their base safely" after looting weapons and ammunition.

State-run media, meanwhile, said bodies of the deceased were shifted to a nearby hospital and law enforcement authorities began an operation in the area.

Later, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan condemned the incident and sought a report from concerned departments.

“The provincial government will not leave the bereaved families alone in this difficult time,” he said, offering condolences to the bereaved families.

Expressing grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the terror incident, President Alvi also said the sacrifices rendered by the security personnel in the war on terrorism are unforgettable.

PM Shehbaz said the terrorists are the enemies of Pakistan and every possible step will be taken to safeguard the country.

In a statement, PM Shehbaz strongly condemned the terrorist attack on a police van in Lakki Marwat.

He paid tributes to the martyred six police personnel. He said the whole nation salutes the sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives for the motherland.

Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah also strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the police personnel in Lakki Marwat.

He also sought a report from Chief Secretary and IG Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of the incident.

Moreover, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf and Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani also condemned the terrorist attack.

According to the Twitter handle of National Assembly of Pakistan, the two lawmakers also urged the government to act against terrorism.

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