Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Nine dead as gunmen attack police compound in Pakistan


At least half a dozen Taliban gunmen opened fire on a compound housing policemen in eastern Pakistan today, killing nine of them, officials said.

The police who were targeted in the city of Lahore were training to become prison guards, said Habibur Rehman, the chief of police in Punjab province, where Lahore is the capital.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for the police torture of their fighters in prison. He spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location.

The police who were attacked were recruited from northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a one-time base for the Taliban, and were brought to Lahore for training, said Rehman.

The Pakistani military launched a massive offensive against the Taliban in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Swat Valley in 2009, and many militants were captured and imprisoned.

The Pakistani Taliban have waged a blood insurgency against the government over the past few years, demanding it break ties with the United States and establish Islamic law throughout the country. The militants have killed thousands of soldiers, police and civilians in attacks.