A preliminary investigation conducted by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police has found that the twin blasts at a counter-terrorism facility in the Kabal town of Swat, which resulted in several casualties, were caused by an electrical short circuit in a munitions warehouse. The blasts occurred on Monday and resulted in the deaths of 17 individuals, including nine officers, three civilians, and five recently detained militants who were being held at the facility for investigation. The incident also left 70 people injured, mostly police officers.
Following the incident, the KP caretaker government formed a two-member fact-finding committee to investigate the incident, comprising the secretary of the Home and Tribal Affairs department, Muhammad Abid Majeed, and the additional inspector general of the police’s special branch, Saqib Ismail Memon. The committee has been directed to submit a comprehensive report covering all aspects of the incident.
The KP police chief, Akhtar Hayat Khan, told reporters that the blasts occurred after rocket-propelled grenades, mines, and other arms seized in different cases and stored in the warehouse had gone off due to a short circuit. Fragments from these explosives struck buildings up to 400 metres away, and a projectile hit the police lines mosque, leaving a hole in its roof. Khan confirmed that there was no evidence of forced entry at the facility’s gate, no pellets found in the victims’ post-mortem reports, and no shots fired at the entrance.
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The police chief said that the police would investigate the matter with an open mind and consider all angles during the investigation. He also announced that the police would work to secure such material stored in other areas as well.
The incident led to protests in Kabal and Swat capital Mingora, where hundreds of people took to the streets to demand peace in the area. The protest at Kabal Bazaar was organized by the organization Swat Olasi Pasoon (Swat Public Uprising), while Swat Quami Jirga organized the protest at Nishat Chowk in Mingora. A rescue operation was underway on the second day with the help of 100 workers and heavy machinery, and 13 bodies had been shifted to their hometowns.