Pakistan: Explosions at police facility kill 12, injure 45

Two blasts ripped through the building in Kabal town in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province


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Plainclothes police officers and rescue workers gather close to the site of a bomb explosion, in Kabal. — AP
Plainclothes police officers and rescue workers gather close to the site of a bomb explosion, in Kabal. — AP

Published: Mon 24 Apr 2023, 10:04 PM

Last updated: Tue 25 Apr 2023, 7:47 AM

Two explosions on Monday at a counterterrorism police facility in northwest Pakistan killed at least seven people and wounded 45, police said.

Senior police officer Ataullah Khan said an initial blast at the facility in the Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was followed by a larger, more intense one.

Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) DIG Khalid Sohail told Geo News that the blast was "not a suicide attack."

"There was no attack or firing on the police station. The explosion occurred at a place where ammunition and mortar shells were stored."

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but in recent months, the Pakistani Taliban have claimed similar attacks after ending a ceasefire with the government last year.

Khan said part of the building collapsed and rescue workers retrieved three bodies and 30 of the wounded people. He said the death toll could increase.

The police complex also houses the Kabal district police station and headquarters of a reserve police force but the main damage was done at the counterterrorism department building, Khan said.

Meanwhile, the provincial health department imposed a state of emergency at hospitals in Swat.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast. He expressed grief over the lives lost and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured, reported Geo News.

He also directed authorities to submit a report regarding the incident, according to Radio Pakistan.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah condemned the blast and expressed sadness over the lives lost. "This scourge of terrorism will be uprooted soon," he asserted.

The picturesque Swat valley once had been the stronghold of militants until the army carried out a massive operation in 2007 that flushed out the militants and restored normalcy.

The Pakistani Taliban, formally known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, is a separate group from Afghan Taliban but linked to them.

The TTP has been emboldened since the Afghan Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in 2021 when US and NATO troops were leaving the country after 20 years of war. Many of its leaders and fighters have found sanctuaries in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover there.


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