PESHAWAR - At least 10 policemen including an SHO embraced martyrdom and 12 others sustained injuries when security forces mounted an operation to rescue hostages taken by a group of militants who stormed a police station at Kolachi tehsil in Dera Ismail Khan on Saturday. At about 5:30 pm five to six militants, some of them wearing burqas, reportedly entered the City police station in Kolachi tehsil and took control of it after firing indiscriminately and lobbing grenades at guards. Wearing suicide vests, the militants took hostage about 20 policemen inside the building. Three attackers wearing suicide vests positioned themselves at strategic points in the police station. To rescue policemen and free the building from the militants, about 100 police, elite force personnel and other law enforcement agencies jawans surrounded the police station and exchanged heavy fire with the militants. Militants started firing on police and took positions on rooftop. 12 policemen received bullet injuries during exchange of fire and were rushed to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Dera ismail Khan. Three blasts were also heard inside Kolachi Police Station during exchange of firing as a result of which fire broke out in the building. A group of policemen entered the police station in an armoured vehicle to eliminate the militants. Eyewitnesses said they heard three explosions when suicide bombers blew themselves up at the police station. Resultantly the APC was also destroyed. Police also cordoned off the whole area and closed all the ways leading to the police stations with a view to foil any attempt by the militants to escape as the night was approaching. At about 7:00 pm, police equipped with APC entered the police station and killed two more suicide bombers and recovered bodies of other militants killed in the operation. During the operation at least 10 policemen including an SHO Alawal Khan and an SI Habibur Rehman embraced Shahadat and 12 others sustained injuries. After explosions building of the police station, record, weapons and APC caught fire and gutted. Law enforcement agencies cleared the police station from militants and the operation was completed. Five-hour operation was held under the supervision of DIG and DPO DI Khan. AFP adds: Police have taken the control of the police station and 10 of our policemen were martyred in the attack and six attackers were killed, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, told AFP. Hussain said the burqa-clad attackers had hoped to secure the release of other militants. The attackers had come prepared for days of siege and hostage-taking to secure the release of other militants, Hussain told AFP. When our armoured car entered the police station two suicide bombers blew themselves up and a third suicide bomber was killed by a rocket, Hussain said. Police have found the bodies of three militants and the heads of three suicide bombers, Hussain said, adding that half of the police station building had been destroyed and 11 policemen wounded. Regional police chief Imtiaz Shah told AFP there was one woman among the suicide bombers. Shah said the siege began when attackers dressed in burqas pulled out guns at the stations main gate and killed policemen deployed there. The militants then damaged the boundary wall with hand grenades, enabling more rebels to follow them into the building. District police chief Mohammad Hussain Khan said it was likely the attackers had come from the nearby lawless tribal belt. Television footage showed thick black smoke billowing from the roof of the fortress-like police station and security forces and police firing at militants. Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan in a telephone call to AFP claimed responsibility, saying it was the latest in a series of attacks to avenge the killing of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. We sent one male and one female suicide bomber to participate in the attack, because we want to liberate our people from the slavery of America, Ehsan said.