Pakistani police say 2 blasts at facility in NW kill 7


Police say two explosions at a counterterrorism police facility in northwest Pakistan have killed at least seven people and wounded 45

ByRIAZ KHAN Associated Press

April 24, 2023, 1:34 PM

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Two explosions Monday at a counterterrorism police facility in northwest Pakistan killed at least seven people and wounded 45, police said.

Senior police officer Ataullah Khan said an initial blast at the facility in the Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was followed by a larger, more intense one.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but in recent months, the Pakistani Taliban have claimed similar attacks after ending a cease-fire with the government last year.

Khan said part of the building collapsed and rescue workers retrieved three bodies and 30 of the wounded people. He said the death toll could increase.

The police complex also houses the Kabal district police station and headquarters of a reserve police force but the main damage was done at the counterterrorism department building, Khan said.

The picturesque Swat valley once had been the stronghold of Islamic militants who imposed strict Sharia rule there until the army carried out a massive operation in 2007 that flushed out the militants and restored normalcy.

The Pakistani Taliban, formally known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, is a separate group from Afghan Taliban but linked to them.

The TTP has been emboldened since the Afghan Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in 2021 when U.S. and NATO troops were leaving the country after 20 years of war. Many of its leaders and fighters have found sanctuaries in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover there.

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