Pakistan police say short circuit caused deadly blasts

17 killed in munition warehouse explosions at counter-terrorism facility in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

By AP

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Security officials inspect the site a day after multiple explosions in a munitions cache levelled the specialist counter-terrorism police station in Kabal town of Swat Valley. — AFP
Security officials inspect the site a day after multiple explosions in a munitions cache levelled the specialist counter-terrorism police station in Kabal town of Swat Valley. — AFP

Published: Tue 25 Apr 2023, 2:51 PM

Pakistani police said on Tuesday the twin blasts that struck a counter-terrorism facility in the country’s northwest and killed 17 people the previous day were caused by electrical shorts and not a terror attack, as initially suggested.

The short circuits occurred on Monday at a munition warehouse within the facility in Swat, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan. Among those killed were nine officers, three civilians and five recently detained militants who were being held there for investigation.


Along with those killed, more than 50 people, mostly police officers, were wounded when the shorts ignited explosions, seconds apart, according to Akhtar Hayat, the provincial police chief.

Initially, police said it could be an act of terrorism but an investigation later concluded that short circuits caused the explosions, according to a police statement released on Tuesday. Nasir Mahmood Satti, a district police chief, also confirmed there was no attack from the outside.


Police and government officials attended a collective funeral ceremony Tuesday for the officers killed in the blasts.

Associated Press images from the scene showed destroyed cars and downed trees at the facility, which also houses a police station and the headquarters of a reserve police force.

The district of Swat lies at the centre of the picturesque Swat Valley, once the stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban. The military carried out a massive operation there in 2007 and later claimed to have routed the militants and restored normalcy. However, attacks have persisted.

Separately, the Pakistani Taliban — also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP — said their fighters attacked a security checkpoint on the outskirts of Peshawar, the provincial capital, on Monday night. There was no confirmation of any attack from the authorities.


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