| 1 March 2024, Friday |

Suicide bomber attacks police station in northwest Pakistan, killing 3 officers and wounding 16

On Tuesday in northwest Pakistan, a suicide bomber set off an explosive-laden vehicle at the main gate of a police station. This act resulted in the death of at least three policemen, with 16 others sustaining injuries, according to officials. Additionally, militants engaged in gunfire, leading to an ongoing shootout between them and the security forces, as reported by police officer Kamal Khan.
Khan said the attack happened in Dera Ismail Khan, a city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan. The province is a former stronghold of the militant Pakistani Taliban group, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has witnessed a rise in violence with several deadly attacks. In January, at least 101 people were killed when a suicide bomber targeted a mosque in Peshawar.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion is likely to fall on the Pakistani Taliban, who have stepped up attacks on security forces since 2022. Authorities say the insurgents have become emboldened while living openly in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of that country in 2021.

The TTP, though a separate group, is closely allied with the Afghan Taliban.

Dera Ismail Khan is located near South Waziristan, a former sanctuary for militants. Pakistan’s army carried out multiple operations against militants there after some attacked an army-run school, killing more than 150 people, mostly school children, in 2014.