Militants on Thursday shot dead three police officers in Pakistan's troubled northwest, where troops are battling a homegrown insurgency.
Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the killings, which took place in Hangu district of the country's troubled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which lies along the Afghan border.
Police blamed Taliban militants for the attack, saying they fired on a patrol party and fled.
"Taliban militants are active in this area and they are responsible for the attack," Hangu police chief Mian Mohammad Saeed told AFP by telephone, adding that three officers were killed.
Gul Jamal, another senior police official, confirmed the incident and blamed "terrorists" for the attack.
"We have cordoned off the area and have launched a search operation," Jamal said.
Pakistan says 35,000 of its people, including more than 3,000 soldiers, have been killed as a result of terrorism since the 9/11 attacks and the US-led invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan.