At least 11 security officials were martyred when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a Pakistan Army camp in Kabal area of Swat, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
Thirteen other soldiers were injured in the bombing that was carried out at the sports area of an army unit, the military’s media wing said in a statement.
What we know so far
At least 11 soldiers, including an officer, lost their lives in the attack
The attack was a suicide bombing, says ISPR
The suicide bomber targeted recreational area of an army unit in Swat
13 officials were injured in the attack
The attack was claimed by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in an email to journalists, AFP reported.
ISPR had earlier said three soldiers were martyred in the attack. The death toll rose after seven critically injured soldiers succumbed to their injuries. An officer is among those martyred in the attack, ISPR said.
Initial reports suggested that the bomber blew himself up in a ground where soldiers were playing volleyball.
According to official, as many as 16 people were injured in the blast. All the injured were shifted to Combined Military Hospital Saidu Sharif.
The picturesque Swat Valley was under the de facto control of TTP in 2007-2009. They imposed their harsh brand of sharia law, and carried out public floggings and executions until a military operation drove them out.
The area has seen sporadic militant attacks since, including assassinations of local leaders who cooperate with the government. Today’s bombing is the first major attack in over three years in the valley.
Although peace had returned to Swat after the 2009 army operation, security has been a primary concern in the region. Police and armed forces personnel jointly man several checkpoints. There are approximately 6,000 policemen in Swat and most of them are deployed on checkpoints.
A few days ago, Swat police claimed to have arrested two militants, in the same area, allegedly involved in anti-state activities during spillover of militancy to the Swat valley.
According to Kabal police, following a tipoff, they along with the CTD police raided a house in Kabal where they found a wanted militant, Siraj Khan, and arrested him. In the meantime, the CTD police carried out another raid at Shawar area in Matta tehsil and arrested a militant commander, Mohammad Ali Shah, who was allegedly involved in attacks on security forces.