Two militants and a constable of Elite Police Force were killed and a policeman was injured as militants clashed with law-enforcement personnel in Topi tehsil late Sunday night.
According to police, a police party was patrolling the Maini village, a militant stronghold, at night when they saw three suspected militants.
The police personnel signalled them to stop, but instead of stopping they opened fire, killing Elite Force constable Fahad Shah and injuring Muneer Khan.
Police personnel also returned fire, forcing two militants to take refuge in a nearby stationery shop while the third militant escaped.
The two militants then made three employees of the shop hostage. The situation forced police personnel to stop fire and ensure safety of the hostages.
In the meantime, more police reinforcements reached the area. The hostages beseeched the militants to let them go.
The militants agreed and one of the hostages talked to police officials by a mobile phone, informing them that the militants had agreed to free them and they were now coming out and police should not open fire on them.
As the hostages safely reached police the exchange of fire between police and militants resumed and as a result of intense exchange of fire the stationery shop caught fire.
According to the district police chief, one of the militants blew himself up while another was killed in the clash. The militant killed in the encounter was identified as Muhammad Aamir. The second militant, who blew himself up, could not be identified.