Three dead in Pakistan police-militant clash: officials

Peshawar:  Militants attacked a police van in Pakistan's northwest on Saturday, killing a police official and wounding two others, authorities said.

A gunbattle erupted after the assault in which two militants were also killed, local police chief Mohammad Hussain told AFP.

The incident took place in the town of Rashakai, 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of Peshawar, the main city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan.

The area is close to the semi-autonomous tribal region where the Pakistani military has launched a series of operations against Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.

The assailants were on two motorbikes, Hussain said. "They first lobbed a grenade and then opened fire on a police van parked near the road."

"Police retaliated, killing two militants while others managed to flee," he said.

Another police official Nasir Khan confirmed the casualties. "We have cordoned off the area and launched a search operation to arrest the fleeing militants," he added.

There was no claim of responsibility.

Pakistan suffers from near daily bomb and shooting attacks blamed on Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants. According to Islamabad, more than 35,000 people have been killed as a result of terrorism since the 9/11 attacks.

Story First Published: February 23, 2013 12:24 IST

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