At least 17 people including police personnel, were killed, and over two dozen injured after two explosions destroyed the headquarters of the Counter-Terrorism (CTD) police in the Swat in the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, media reports said.
However, officials said the blasts were caused by stored ammunition and not terrorism.
Authorities said the army personnel had taken control of the area as more than 50 people had been rescued from the rubble of the ruined building.
Officials initially labeled the incident as “a suspected suicide attack,” but later said ammunition stored at the site appeared to be the cause of the blasts.
The outlawed Tehrik-e Taliban (TTP) — also known as the Pakistani Taliban — has often carried out terror attacks in the region and were initially suspected by many in the region.
TTP militants have staged a gradual comeback in the tribal districts following a deadlock with the Pakistani authorities in peace talks launched last year.
The military has increased operations in the region, but many local residents have protested against the lack of security following a rash of attacks, including one that killed more than 80 people at a mosque inside the Peshawar police headquarters in January this year.
In the latest attack, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial government said that the Kabal police station was hit by two blasts.
“All the doctors and support staff in the government health facilities in Swat district are directed to remain on red alert to cope with the emergencies until further notice,” the local administration said in a statement.
Officials at Sayed Sharif and Kabel hospitals initially told RFE/RL that at least three policemen and three civilians were killed and that 37 people had been brought in for treatment.
But the figures were updated throughout the day, with later reports saying that at least 10 police officers and seven others had been killed and 57 injured.
Regional police chief Akhtar Hayat Khan said security officials were on “high alert” throughout the province as a precaution. – Agencies