Gunmen kill 59 in attack on police academy in Pakistani city of Quetta

More than 200 police trainees were stationed at the facility when the attack occurred late on Monday at the academy in Quetta, Pakistan

By: Reuters | Quetta | Published:October 25, 2016 11:57 am
quetta, quetta attack, pakistan attack, police academy attack, attack on police academy, pakistan terror attack, quetta terror attack, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Quetta attack: Pakistani family members of victims visit a police training center where gunmen opened fire in Quetta, Pakistan, Tuesday (AP/PTI)

At least 59 people were killed and more than 100 wounded when gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed a Pakistani police training academy in the southwestern city of Quetta and took hostages, government officials said on Tuesday.

More than 200 police trainees were stationed at the facility when the attack occurred late on Monday, officials said. Some cadets were taken hostage during the attack, which lasted five hours. Most of the dead were police cadets.

“Militants came directly into our barrack. They just barged in and started firing point blank. We started screaming and running around in the barrack,” one cadet who survived told local media.

Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister of Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, said the gunmen attacked a dormitory inside the training facility while cadets rested and slept.

“Two attackers blew up themselves while a third one was shot in the head by security men,” Bugti said. Earlier officials said there were five to six gunmen.

A Reuters photographer at the scene said authorities carried out the body of a teenaged boy who they said was one of the attackers and had been shot dead by security forces.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but one of the top military commanders in Baluchistan, General Sher Afgun, told media that calls intercepted between the attackers and their handlers suggested they were from the sectarian Sunni militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).

“We came to know from the communication intercepts that there were three militants who were getting instructions from Afghanistan,” Afgun told media, adding that the Al Alami cell of LeJ was behind the attack.

LeJ, whose roots are in the heartland Punjab province, has a history of carrying out sectarian attacks in Baluchistan, particularly against the minority Hazara Shias. Pakistan has previously acussed LeJ of colluding with al Qaeda.

Authorities launched a crackdown against Lashkar-e-Jhangvi last year, particularly in Punjab province. In a major blow to the organisation, Malik Ishaq, the group’s leader, was killed in July 2015 alongside 13 other members of the central leadership in what police say was a failed escape attempt.

A home ministry official said it was unclear what motive the group would have in attacking the police academy.

“Two, three days ago we had intelligence reports of a possible attack in Quetta city, that is why security was beefed up in Quetta, but they struck at police training college,” Sanaullah Zehri, chief minister of Baluchistan, told the local Geo TV channel.

WELL-COORDINATED ATTACK

Monday night’s assault was the deadliest in Pakistan since a suicide bomber killed 70 people in an attack on mourners gathered at a hospital in Quetta in August.

The bomber struck as a crowd of mostly lawyers and journalists crammed into the emergency ward of the hospital to accompany the body of a prominent lawyer who had been shot and killed in the city earlier in the day.

Monday night’s attack also appeared well coordinated, with senior law enforcement agencies saying that assailants had fired at the police training centre from five different points.

Later, the attackers entered the centre’s hostel where around 200 to 250 police recruits were resting, security officials said. At least three explosions were reported at the scene by local media.

Quetta has long been regarded as a base for the Afghan Taliban, whose leadership has regularly held meetings there.

The Afghan Taliban’s new leader Haibatullah Akhundzada openly taught and preached at a mosque outside Quetta for 15 years, until May this year. Akhundzada’s predecessor Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed by a U.S. drone strike while travelling to Quetta from the Pakistan-Iran border.

Baluchistan province is no stranger to violence, with separatist fighters launching regular attacks on security forces for nearly a decade and the military striking back.

Militants, particularly sectarian groups, have also launched a campaign of suicide bombings and assassinations of minority Shias.

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  1. I
    Ikok
    Oct 25, 2016 at 7:10 am
    Indian Afghan joint opperation
    Reply
    1. S
      Sirius
      Oct 25, 2016 at 9:21 am
      This is not the time to become emotional, and commit yet another mistake ! The consequences could be disastrous for you/Pak ...
      Reply
      1. M
        Michellegt;Vedicgt;human
        Oct 25, 2016 at 8:16 am
        Now that India does not have to waste time on PORKISTAN giving bef-itting reply,---they themselves are replying be-fit-tily,--- one Indian soldier in return 60 porkistanis are now enjoying with 72 WHOR-IES.
        Reply
        1. T
          Tsupon
          Oct 25, 2016 at 7:40 am
          Nawaz Sharif,bitten by the snake that he is rearing under his bed. Share our sorrows with the departed soul and their wailing families. After all, we are all the children of the same GOD.
          Reply
          1. J
            J.S.Acharya Acharya
            Oct 25, 2016 at 9:08 am
            Profoundly sad on the loss innocent individuals barbaric activity. My heartfelt condolences to brothers and families of the young heroes who lost their life. May god give them all the strength and resolve to cope with this tragedy.
            Reply
            1. M
              malik
              Oct 25, 2016 at 8:47 am
              Do you think after this attack on queeta. isi not give a response to raw
              Reply
              1. A
                Aftab Ahmad
                Oct 25, 2016 at 6:57 am
                And Modi is behind this (by the help of Afgan govt.)
                Reply
                1. A
                  avi
                  Oct 25, 2016 at 8:50 pm
                  Pork's are in their dance of self destruction as Islam believes in life after death only !
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    vivian
                    Oct 25, 2016 at 7:38 am
                    stan Completely seal Afghan border destroy the terrorist camps operated by indian and Israeli agents.. Annex Kashmir with advance intimation to the UN and get a free plebiscite.
                    Reply
                    1. L
                      lafanga
                      Oct 25, 2016 at 2:58 pm
                      That will leave India to be just a giant Hindu cesspool. Atleast you can blame your ills on poor Muslims now.
                      Reply
                      1. F
                        ftlg
                        Oct 25, 2016 at 8:55 am
                        As many people claimed that Uri attack could have done by India itself.lt;br/gt;I am sure this attack must have planned by their Government.
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                        1. V
                          VIJAY
                          Oct 25, 2016 at 8:01 am
                          YOU HAVE CRACKED JOKE OF THE DAY
                          Reply
                          1. V
                            VIJAY
                            Oct 25, 2016 at 8:06 am
                            the days are not far when these terrorist will attack on stan's supreme court.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              sonu
                              Oct 25, 2016 at 11:03 am
                              as if Kashmir is some baloch child whom ur coward army snatch from his home
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                sonu
                                Oct 25, 2016 at 11:01 am
                                ha ha amazing... means thats how pak ppl think!!! jokers... since u ppl r attacking a big powerful neighbour so that powerful country will respond and destroy u
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  sonu
                                  Oct 25, 2016 at 10:54 am
                                  it may be done by stan army as raheel sharif wants extension
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    sonu
                                    Oct 25, 2016 at 10:56 am
                                    raheel sharref has done this attack.. it was not a terrorist attack but done by pak army why??lt;br/gt;1- it will help raheel shareef to take over governmentlt;br/gt;2- majority of those killed are baloch so no pain no loss for stanlt;br/gt;3- killing baloch is only competence of pak armylt;br/gt;4- to gain some sympathy
                                    Reply
                                    1. J
                                      Jawhar
                                      Oct 25, 2016 at 6:54 am
                                      Indian press is weeping at this tragedy, but press has given the news rather casually. s press mixes news of terroris, fawad khan, imran khan, kashmir, and a chaiwala, along with some cheap humour of someone coming from moon. How easy it is for stan to digest that 60 youth were killed by terrorists.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;When you are in the business of terrorism, you take terrorism on yourself as an occupation hazard. Why not call stan as terroristan.
                                      Reply
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                                        Bandra
                                        Oct 25, 2016 at 7:06 am
                                        As you sow so shall you reap- Nothing but stan given a taste of its own medicine.So stop the blame game.
                                        Reply
                                        1. B
                                          Boomba
                                          Oct 25, 2016 at 8:15 am
                                          so why are you ashamed to put your own porkie name ? hiding under pseudo existence ?what a shame.
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            Shivan
                                            Oct 25, 2016 at 7:29 am
                                            It is sad that despite so many attacks by terrorists on innocent stani citizens within its territory, stan has still not given up its policy of harbouring 'good' terrorists. The results of its ill-conceived policy are seen from time to time.
                                            Reply
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