At least 59 people have died and more than 110 were injured after a team of heavily armed suicide attackers stormed a police training academy in the Pakistani city of Quetta, capital of the southwestern province of Baluchistan.
According to a witness, the three kamikaze with explosive belts and their faces covered, they stormed a police training academy, opening fire, where at that time there were about 700 cadets sleeping. Officials said most of the deaths were caused by two suicide blasts, with the third attacker shot dead before he could blow himself up. Many of the cadets sustained injuries after jumping out of windows to escape.
FC commander Maj. Gen. Sher Afgan said authorities had been listening in to the militants’ conversations with their handlers in Afghanistan and had established they belonged to the “al-Alimi” faction of Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, a brutal sectarian group that usually focuses on targeting Pakistan’s Shia minority.
Saryab Road, which is home to slums and various different ethnic communities, has long been a focus for attacks on security forces in Quetta. There is a heavy security presence in the area, with multiple police and frontier constabulary check posts.
The training college itself has been attacked twice before – once in 2006 and again in 2008.
Fight against Jihad
Baluchistan is leading a fierce fight against Islamic militants. Yesterday, two customs agents were killed and another was seriously injured in Surab, south of Quetta. In August, a suicide bomber killed 88 people (lawyers) at a Quetta hospital.The Pakistan army conducted military operations against militants in the tribal regions near the Afghan border.