Powerful Explosions At Swat CTD Facility Leave At Least 15 Dead, Over 50 Injured

Powerful Explosions At Swat CTD Facility Leave At Least 15 Dead, Over 50 Injured
An explosion occurred at the Kabal police station in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, at around 8:30pm local time on Monday night (April 24), which was reportedly followed in quick succession by a second, much louder explosion. The compound where the explosions occurred houses the Kabal district police station as well as the headquarters of a reserve police force, but most of the damage was to the counterterrorism department (CTD) building inside the compound.


The louder blast could be heard from at least 2-3km away, and the shockwave demolished the CTD building and the police outpost, as well as the walls of nearby buildings, including a mosque within the compound. Many policemen were feared buried under the rubble of these collapsed buildings, and rescue operations continued into the night to retrieve the cops.


According to updates received on early Tuesday morning, at least 15 people - including 10 CTD policemen - were confirmed dead as a result of this incident, while more than 50 others were reported to be injured, some of them hospitalised in critical condition. Local sources say a woman and a child passing by the building compound were also killed, while rescue personnel and hospital officials are concerned as they expect casualties to rise.

According to deputy inspector general (DIG) of Malakand division police, Nasir Mehmood Satti, there was explosive material stored in the basement or "ammo dump" of the Swat CTD facility, and it is presumed that a fire caused by a probable electric short-circuiting resulted in the explosives detonating.


Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned this blast in a tweet, and called it a "suicide attack". However, shortly thereafter, he tweeted a clarification that the investigation to ascertain the cause and "nature of the blast" was ongoing. The outcome of that investigation would be "shared with the nation", the premier tweeted.


A hitherto unknown militant group known as the 'Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan' (TJP) has issued a claim of responsibility for bombing the Kabal police station and CTD facility in Swat, claiming that one of its terrorists "Hameedullah" was deep undercover and was in contact with them before allegedly detonating the explosives in the Kabal CTD compound.


The TJP claim has not been verified by the authorities. Official sources have so far refused to confirm whether the incident was a terror attack or not, and are hesitant to attribute responsibility to a terror organization.

Also on Monday (April 24), the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the targeted killing of retired Pakistan Army colonel Muqarrab Khan in Lakki Marwat.

The Pakistani government and military are gearing up to intensify intelligence-based operations (IBOs) against resurgent terrorists in KP and Balochistan provinces. The financially stressed and politically polarized South Asian nuclear power is facing a renewed terror threat from multiple militant groups, foremost among which is the TTP or Pakistani Taliban who ended their ceasefire with the Pakistani state near the end of November 2022.

While a refreshed and revitalised TTP is widely purported to have backing from the Taliban government in Afghanistan, the Pakistani military has blamed the PTI government's policy of 'appeasement' and negotiations with TTP for the latest increase in terror attacks, and in the terror threat Pakistan is now facing.