Rescuers say twin blasts destroyed police station building n 53 injured, building collapses after attackers’ firing and blasts n Security across KP put on high alert n PM, interior minister, KP CM condemn blasts.
SWAT – As many as 15 people including eight policemen were martyred and over 53 people including 3 civilians injured in a suspected suicide attack at a Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) police station in Swat’s Kabal on Monday.
Rescue 1122 spokesperson Ayesha Khan confirmed the number of casualties, adding that three civilians were among the injured.
Earlier, District Police Officer Shafi Ullah Gandapur (DPO) said there were two blasts inside the station, which destroyed the building.
According to the police, unidentified assailants started firing during which a suicide bombing took place and a second massive explosion occurred within seconds.
CTD DIG Khalid Sohail said that the building collapse caused a power outage, the extent of which is yet to be determined. The building that collapsed was an old one while most offices and personnel were located in a newer building, he added.
The DIG said that the cause of the blasts was not yet known. “Ammunition and mortar shells were kept inside the station. It is possible that they were behind the explosions. It could also be a suicide attack,” he said.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police Akhtar Hayat Khan said security officials were on high alert throughout the province. Initial information showed the attack occurred around 8:20pm inside the police station premises which also housed the Counter Terrorism Department and a mosque.
All three buildings collapsed due to the blast while a fire also erupted soon after.
The police said that several people were buried under the rubble while the injured were being rushed to Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital. Meanwhile, an emergency was declared at all nearby hospitals.
The building of the police station has been completely destroyed due to the blasts, the police added.
Rescue 1122 officials said operation is being carried out to rescue the people trapped under the debris of the building. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incident and expressed grief over the lives lost. He prayed for the martyrs and offered his condolences to the bereaved families.
The premier also prayed for the early recovery of the injured and directed the authorities concerned to provide them with medical assistance. He also sought a report of the incident from the relevant authorities. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also strongly condemned the blast and expressed grief over the lives lost in the incident.
KP Caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan also strongly condemned the blast, and directed the relevant authorities to speed up rescue and relief operations.
The chief minister said the government would not abandon the families of the martyred police officials.
The latest attack comes as Pakistan faces a rise in terrorism incidents, with militants targeting law enforcers in their new offensive. The security agencies have also ramped up operations against the terrorists.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Monday strongly condemned the suicide blast in Counterterrorism Department (CTD) Police Station Kabal in Swat and reiterated that security and police forces would completely eliminate the curse of terrorism.
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 the Shuhada, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. He also prayed for the early recovery of the 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.
On his Twitter handle, the prime minister strongly condemned the suicide attack on CTD and said that nation was deeply grieved over martyrdom of police officials.
“Our police has been the first line of defence against terrorism. We will not rest until we eliminate this scourge. My condolences to bereaved families,” he further posted in a tweet.
Shafiullah Gandapur, District Police Officer, told the media that the police station of the counterterrorism department at Kabal had been completely destroyed due to the blast.