SWAT - A father and two of his children were killed and two others sustained injuries in Bashigram area of Swat’s Madyan tehsil on Tuesday after a bomb concealed inside a toy went off inside their home.

District Police Officer (DPO) Swat Saleem Marwat confirming the incident said the 35-year-old man’s three children and their cousin had found the toy in the streets and brought it home to play with. The bomb exploded when they were playing with it.

“The father, his nine-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son died on the spot while two other children were wounded,” Marwat said, adding those injured were the man’s other son and his nephew. Afzal Khan, a police official in Bishigram village, confirmed the incident.

The dead included Zor Muhammad and Jan Muhammad while wounded Sadam and Saira Bibi were shifted to nearby hospital for treatment in critical condition.

The area is a tourist spot situated in the mountains. It is few kilometers away from the main Madyan bazaar. Soon after the blast police officials and bomb disposal squad arrived at the scene and started investigation into the explosion.

The origin of the bomb was unclear. Dozens of children, mostly in tribal areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have lost their lives in the past when playing with ‘toys’ that turned out to be bombs. ‘Toy’ bombs were airdropped in neighbouring Afghanistan by Soviet forces during the 1980s as weapons against those who opposed their invasion.

The Swat Valley was under the de facto control of Taliban commander Mullah Fazlullah from 2007 to 2009, where it imposed a harsh brand of Sharia law and carried out public floggings and hangings. The militants were driven out by an army operation after a ceasefire broke down but remain a threat in the region.

Taliban insurgents shot girls’ education campaigner Malala Yousafzai in the head in the valley in 2012. Fazlullah, who says he ordered the shooting, was appointed chief of the Pakistani Taliban in 2013. Pakistan has been battling a homegrown insurgency for more than a decade after it agreed to cooperate with US-led Nato forces in their war in neighbouring Afghanistan.