Police officer killed in eastern Punjab province in Pakistani Taliban attack

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Pakistani Taliban fighters attacked a police post in eastern Punjab province early Sunday, killing one officer and injuring three others, triggering an intense shootout that killed two of the attackers, officials said.

The attack occurred in the Mianwali district of Punjab province and led to an intense exchange of fire as reinforcements arrived at the besieged police post, said Imran Nawaz, a spokesman for the counterterrorism police.

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A group of 10 to 12 militants attacked the Kundal police post in the Easa Khel area of Mianwali, close to the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, after midnight, Nawaz said. The exchange of gunfire continued for hours during which two of the attackers were killed and a third was injured but escaped with others, Nawaz said. A search operation was underway in the area to find the attackers, he said.

Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Pakistani Taliban are a separate group but are allied with the Afghan Taliban, who took over Afghanistan in August 2021 following the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from the country. The takeover emboldened the TTP, who often carry out attacks near the Afghan border and elsewhere in the country.

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