Saturday April 20, 2024

13 cops martyred in CTD Swat police station blast

Building collapsed as a result of blast, confirms Swat DPO; over 40 people injured

By Essa Khankhel & Mehboob Ali
April 25, 2023
Rescue officials are seen at the site of a blast at a Counter-Terrorism Department police station in Swats Kabal on Monday. — Photo by author
Rescue officials are seen at the site of a blast at a Counter-Terrorism Department police station in Swat's Kabal on Monday. — Photo by author

MINGORA/ISLAMABAD: At least 13 people, majority of them believed to be policemen, were killed and 42 others injured in two mysterious explosions at the heavily-guarded Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police station in Kabal town of Swat district on Monday.

“The explosions took place at the CTD Police Station in Kabal in which 13 policemen were killed and 42 injured,” a senior police official told The News here. The victims included civilians as well.

A police official in Peshawar also confirmed two separate explosions at the CTD station but didn’t confirm it was a suicide attack as reported by a section of the media. “There were explosions at the CTD but we can’t confirm it was a terrorist act. Actually, ammunition was dumped there that included some old mortar shells and it is most likely a mishap rather than terrorist activity. But our investigations are in initial stages,” the police official insisted. He said it was an old building that had been in the use of CTD police and a portion of the building collapsed in the explosions. According to the police official, rescue and relief operation was immediately launched and the injured were taken to the Saidu Sharif Hospital in Swat where an emergency was declared.

Official sources said the blast took place inside the building of the CTD, which also damaged some nearby houses. The woman who died was said to be in a house affected by the blast. Regional Police Officer Nasir Mahmood Sati said the blast took place at the arms depot at the CTD station. He dismissed the reports that it was a suicide attack. The official said that investigations had been launched to determine what had exactly caused the blast. Initially, it was reported that two blasts took place at the police station. However, some eyewitnesses said that three successive blasts had occurred.

Rescue 1122 service officials feared that the toll may rise as some of the injured were in a critical condition. The provincial government also declared an emergency in the hospitals of Peshawar as some of the critically injured people were being shifted to Peshawar.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Monday strongly condemned a blast in Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Police Station, Kabal, Swat. Expressing deep grief over the loss of lives, the prime minister expressed his sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed for the high ranks of Shuhada, the PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. He also prayed for the early recovery of injured and directed for provision of all available medical treatment to the injured. The prime minister summoned a report from the relevant authorities over the incident. The entire nation saluted the sacrifices of its Shuhada, he added.