On Monday, two explosions occurred at a counterterrorism facility in the Swat Valley, northwest Pakistan, killing at least 12 people and injuring over 50 others.
Sharifullah Khan, a police official in Kabal, informed Al Jazeera that the blasts happened at the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He mentioned that the explosions were not the result of terrorism, but rather occurred when explosive materials in the CTD building’s basement caught fire.
The building complex, which also contains the Kabal district police station and the headquarters of a reserve police force, experienced the most significant damage at the counterterrorism department building. Provincial police chief Akhtar Hayat stated that there was an old ammunition store in the office, and an investigation was underway to determine whether it caused the explosions or if it was an attack.
Since the beginning of the year, two assaults on large police bases have been connected to the Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Most of the victims on Monday were police counterterrorism officers, according to Hayat. A woman and her child, who were near the building at the time, were also killed.
Bilal Faizi, a spokesman for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial rescue service, reported that the search for additional injured individuals was ongoing. The regional hospital administration confirmed that they received several injured people, some of whom were in critical condition.
The TTP has long targeted law enforcement officials in Pakistan, accusing them of conducting extrajudicial executions. Since the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan, Pakistan has seen a significant increase in attacks focused on its border regions. The TTP, founded in 2007, controlled vast areas of northwest Pakistan, including the Swat Valley, at the height of its power. However, the group was largely defeated by the military following a 2014 school attack that killed nearly 150 people.