Peshawar, Jan 12 (Agencies): At least 20 people, mostly security personnel, were killed and 14 others wounded when a suicide bomber on Wednesday rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a police station in northwest Pakistan, officials said.

The bomber targeted Miryan police station in Bannu district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province this evening.

The explosion, which was heard from several kilometers away, flattened the police station and a nearby mosque.
"At least 20 people are dead and toll is expected to rise as some persons could be buried in the rubble of the police station and mosque," they said.

Local residents and rescue workers were removing the debris with their hands.

Security officials said most of the dead were policemen and Frontier Corps personnel.

Several worshippers in the mosque died when its roof caved in. The blast also destroyed part of a girls' primary school.

Ambulances rushed to the site and took the injured and bodies to a nearby hospital.

Rescue operations were hampered by a power outage and the lack of heavy machinery.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Muhammad Iftikhar Khan and provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain confirmed the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Sources said that militants from the adjoining tribal belt had entered Bannu district with two explosives- laden vehicles, one of which was used to target the police station.

Bannu borders the volatile North Waziristan and South Waziristan tribal regions that are considered strongholds of the Pakistani Taliban.