April 26, 2023
The Home and Tribal Affairs Department of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Government issued a notice on Tuesday, April 25, on the constitution of a fact-finding committee regarding the explosions that took place in the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) compound at the Kabal Police Station on Monday night.
Meanwhile, Swat residents took to the streets of Swat in protest of growing militancy in the area. Rejecting police statements that the incident was the result of a short circuit in a weapons storage unit in the building, residents rallied against what they claim are attempts to keep a terrorist attack under wraps.
The blasts, which reportedly occurred at 8:20 PM, reduced the CTD premises to rubble and caused severe damage to nearby buildings. Over 60 CTD personnel and civilians suffered injuries in the blast while as of Wednesday, 17 people including five suspects who were in CTD custody at the time have been reportedly killed.
According to Dawn, the incident occurred hours after a CTD raid in Lakki Marwat in which three alleged terrorists were killed in the encounter.
A first information report (FIR) of the incident was registered at 9:00 PM the same day, under sections 302 (murder), 324 (attempted murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of 50 Rupees) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), sections 3 (causing explosion likely to endanger life or property) and 4 (attempt to cause explosion or for making or keeping explosive with intent to endanger life or property) of the Explosive Substances Act 1908, and section 7 (terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Three hours after the explosions, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif took to Twitter to condemn the “attack” before issuing a clarification another hour later that the nature of the incident is still being investigated.
Despite the inclusion of provisions for terrorism in the FIR, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Malakand Nasir Mehmood Satti while talking to media the night of the incident stated that preliminary investigations ruled out the possibility of terrorist involvement. This was reiterated by KP Inspector General of Police (IGP) Akhtar Hayat Gandapur
on Tuesday, who stated that there were no signs of forced entry or discharge of weapons. He further added that the investigation so far points towards confiscated weapons stored in an old office of the CTD building catching fire.
Furthermore, the Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), a relatively new radical militant outfit believed to be a proxy of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack in a social media post. The group further claimed that they were able to carry out the attack with the aid of their agent, one Hameedullah, who had infiltrated the military.