At least eight people have been killed, including three policemen, in a suicide attack on a police station in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, officials say.

The attackers heavily armed with suicide vests, guns, grenades and rockets raided the police station in Kaki, 13km southwest of Bannu town, shortly after morning prayers.

Police said the attack, which lasted around an hour, damaged the police station, a nearby mosque, house and three shops.

Two of them blew themselves up during the clashes but a third managed to escape.

"Three militants attacked the Kaki police station. They killed three policemen and two civilians," Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said on Monday.

Hospital officials said another civilian later died of his injuries.

'Revenge attack'

Pakistan's umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban faction claimed responsibility, saying the attack was to avenge the killing by police of a nephew of its founder, warlord Baitullah Mehsud who was himself killed in a US drone attack in 2009.

"We will continue such attacks against this secular government," spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan confirmed to AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Mehsud's nephew, himself a Taliban commander, was shot dead by police in Bannu last month, local police said.

The Pakistani Taliban frequently target security forces with bomb and gun attacks as part of a five-year insurgency concentrated in the northwest.

Bannu lies close to North Waziristan, the most infamous bastion of anti-government armed group in Pakistan that US officials say is used as a launchpad for attacks in Afghanistan. US drones target fighters there.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies