Eleven policemen and four schoolchildren were among the 19 people killed in a suicide bomb attack on a police station in Lakki Marwat, a district of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa bordering Punjab. According to the police, 600 kg of explosive material were used in the blast which brought down the police station and damaged several buildings in the vicinity including a hospital, a mosque and a school.

The death toll is expected to rise as many of the 40 injured are battling for life. The suicide bomber rammed the explosive-laden vehicle into the rear wall of the police station early in the morning.

The schoolchildren were killed as their van was parked nearby.

As many of the buildings in the vicinity bore the brunt of the huge explosion, police cordoned off the area while efforts were on to pull out people buried in the rubble. After the explosion, police rounded up 10 persons suspected to be linked to terrorist groups.

Area police said this was the handiwork of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has claimed responsibility for last week's suicide attacks on Shias in Lahore and Quetta. Talking to reporters, a senior police officer said: “The TTP is all out to hurt us. They are targeting everyone. We have lost personnel from the level of constable to Assistant Inspector General. The frontier police is writing its history with blood.”

On Sunday, The Daily Times had reported that terrorists had resurfaced in the suburbs of Peshawar — the capital of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa — and were imposing their writ by declaring a ban on shaving beards. After holding a barber captive for a fortnight, they released him last week with the diktat that barbers would be killed if they shaved beards.

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