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Terrorist attack in Pakistan: 24 killed, several hurt in suicide attack at police station

Dera Ismail Khan, located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province adjacent to Afghanistan, has long been a zone of conflict and was previously under the influence of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), notorious for its militant activities.

Terror attack: Suicide bomber targets police station in Pakistan's Dera Ismail Khan AJR
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First Published Dec 12, 2023, 12:32 PM IST

Tragedy struck the northwest region of Pakistan when a suicide bomber targeted a police station in Dera Ismail Khan, detonating an explosive-laden vehicle at its main gate. The horrific blast claimed the lives of as many as 24 people and left 16 others wounded. Kamal Khan, a police officer, reported that amidst the explosion, militants engaged in gunfire with security forces, initiating a fierce shootout that persisted.

Dera Ismail Khan, located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province adjacent to Afghanistan, has long been a zone of conflict and was previously under the influence of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), notorious for its militant activities.

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The province has been witnessing a surge in violence, marked by several deadly incidents. Earlier this year, a devastating suicide bombing in a Peshawar mosque resulted in the loss of at least 101 lives.

While no immediate claim has been made regarding the attack, suspicions naturally fall on the Pakistani Taliban, particularly known for heightened assaults on security personnel since 2022. Authorities emphasize that these insurgents have grown more emboldened, openly operating in Afghanistan following the Taliban's ascension to power in 2021.

Dera Ismail Khan lies in close proximity to South Waziristan, a former stronghold for militants. Pakistan's military had launched multiple operations against these groups, especially after a tragic attack on an army-run school in 2014, which resulted in over 150 casualties, predominantly children attending the school.

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The recent attack in Dera Ismail Khan serves as a stark reminder of the persisting threats posed by extremist elements in the region and highlights the challenges faced by security forces in maintaining stability and combating terrorism in this volatile part of Pakistan.

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