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PESHAWAR: Four policemen were killed by a roadside bomb as they scrambled to protect a police station under siege by Taliban militants in northwest Pakistan, officials said Thursday.

Pakistan has witnessed rising attacks by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) since the Afghan Taliban retook Kabul in 2021, and police are increasingly on the frontline of Islamabad’s bid to quell the movement.

TTP fighters launched a heavy-weapons assault early Thursday on a police station in Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which abuts the border with Afghanistan.

Four officers, including a deputy superintendent, were killed by a bomb as they rushed towards the fight in a “planned act of terrorism”, senior local police official Muhammad Ashfaq told AFP.

Deputy superintendent Iqbal Mohmand was known as an “exceptional poet”, Ashfaq said. “He was always the centre of attention during poetic festivals,” he said.

The TTP claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on Thursday and accused Mohmand of “brutally” killing its fighters. It said there were no TTP casualties.

The TTP is a separate movement from the Afghan Taliban, however they share a common lineage and ideology. Senior local administration official Tariqullah, who goes by one name, said the bomb pierced the armoured personnel carrier that was carrying the officers around 3 kilometres (2 miles) from the police station.

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