Gunmen attack Pakistani official's compound, four dead

PESHAWAR, Pakistan Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:45am EST

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Four security guards were killed in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on Monday after gunmen, wearing police uniforms, raided the compound of a senior government official, officials said.

Two explosions were heard, followed by gunfire at the compound of top political official Muttahirzeb Khan, where tribal officials and members of political parties had gathered to hold talks.

Officials suspect the attackers were suicide bombers. It was not immediately known if they survived.

"We were holding a meeting and some others were joining us when firing started inside the political compound, and then there was a heavy blast, and again heavy firing began," said tribal politician Niaz Ahmad Khan.

"We were told by the officials to take shelter inside the office as the terrorists had attacked the political compound."

He said he saw two bodies and some injured people lying on the ground inside the compound in the northwestern city.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. But the Pakistani Taliban have carried out similar operations.

Militants have stepped up attacks across Pakistan just months ahead of a national election. On Saturday, 85 people, most of them Shi'ites, were killed in the southwestern city of Quetta in an attack blamed on Sunni militants.

(Reporting by Jibran Ahmad; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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