A husband and wife team dressed in burkas has carried out a suicide attack on a police station in northwestern Pakistan, the Taliban say.
The pair entered a police compound late Saturday in Kolachi, near the tribal region of South Waziristan on the Afghan border, pretending they had a complaint to make, the BBC reports.
The husband-and-wife suicide squad wore burkas that hid assault rifles, hand grenades and suicide vests underneath. They held staff hostage for several hours before detonating themselves, killing 12 policemen and a tea boy. The couple shot dead five of the policemen, while seven more died of their wounds overnight.
The husband and wife suicide team is a new tactic in Pakistan’s tribal areas, the BBC says. A woman bomber was blamed for a suicide attack last December, while militants have reportedly also used children as human bombs.
A Pakistani Taliban spokesman said the attack was carried out in retaliation for the May 2 killing of Osama Bin Laden by U.S. special forces in Abbottabad, and for Pakistani government attacks against militants, Reuters reports.
(More from GlobalPost in Pakistan: Militants in Pakistan more brazen after the bin Laden raid)
"The attackers were a husband and wife. We will keep carrying out attacks with different strategies," spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told Reuters by phone.
Pakistan’s Taliban movement, which is close to Al Qaeda, has ratcheted up the number of violent attacks in the country since the death of bin Laden.