(Kabal) The death toll from ammunition explosions due to a short circuit at a Pakistani counter-terrorism police station rose to 16 on Tuesday, police said.

Among the dead were a policeman, five suspected terrorists who were being held pending questioning and two brothers aged 4 and 6 living nearby, Akhtar Hayat Gandapur of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province police told AFP. More than 50 people were injured and hospitalized.

These explosions inside a police station in Kabal, a town in the Swat Valley, caused the building to collapse completely on Monday. Local police attributed them to a short circuit in the basement of the police station where they said “grenades and other explosives” were stored.

The terrorist track has been dismissed, said Akhtar Hayat Gandapur. “We have not yet found any physical or visual evidence to suggest a suicide attack, but we will look into all aspects of the matter during the investigation,” he said.

“Three hundred kilograms of explosives, including anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, artillery shells and mortars, were stored in the basement, in addition to improvised explosive devices and explosive vests” confiscated, belonging to terrorists , detailed for AFP Khalid Sohail, a police officer of the local department of counter-terrorism.

“It’s like all hell broke loose on me,” said Abbas Khan, 21, who had parked his car near the police station.

Funerals were held Tuesday morning for nine police officers, their coffins draped in the national flag.

Since the beginning of the year, the Pakistani Taliban have been linked to two attacks against important police stations.

In January, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque inside a police compound in Peshawar, killing more than 80 officers as the building collapsed.

The following month, five people were killed when a commando from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP, which emerged in 2007), stormed a police building in Karachi, sparking a firefight lasting several hours. The TTP accuses the security forces of carrying out extrajudicial executions.

Pakistan has seen a dramatic increase in attacks since the Taliban took control of neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021.

Pakistani TTP militants have long controlled entire regions of northwest Pakistan, including the Swat Valley – where then 15-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the TTP in 2012 while advocating for girls’ education.

They have since been routed by the army. A tenuous six-month ceasefire between the TTP and Islamabad was shattered in November.