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Militants attack police station in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 10 officers

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Militants armed with rockets, guns and grenades attacked a police station in a former stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban in the country’s northwest before dawn on Monday, killing 10 officers before fleeing, authorities said.

Six other officers were wounded in this year’s deadliest attack in Dera Ismail Khan, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan. No group immediately claimed responsibility. Senior police officer Anees-ul-Hassan said security forces were working to find and arrest the attackers.

The violence came two months after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden vehicle outside a police station in the same district, killing at least 23 troops and wounding 32 others.

That attack was claimed by a newly formed militant group — Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan, which is believed to be an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban. Following the Dec. 5 attack in Dera Ismail Khan, troops killed 27 insurgents in multiple operations, according to the military and local police officials.

Monday’s violence came ahead of this week’s parliamentary elections.

It also came about a week after insurgents attacked security forces in southwestern Baluchistan province, killing six people, including four security personnel. The military also killed 24 insurgents after coming under attack in Mach, a district in Baluchistan, last week.

The outlawed Baluchistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks.

Pakistan has witnessed a surge in militant attacks in recent months.

Most of such attacks have happened in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where militants in January 2023 killed at least 101 people, mostly police officers, when a suicide bomber disguised as a policeman attacked a