Heavily-armed terrorists wearing suicide vests Monday night stormed a police academy in Quetta, Pakistan, killing over 60 people. More than 180 people have been injured in the attack. All the three terrorists were killed in the attack as two of them blew themselves up while the third one was engaged and killed by security forces.
Three terrorirsts burst into the sprawling academy, targeting sleeping quarters that are home to some 700 recruits.
Pakistani media outlets, quoting police authorities reported that the attack was carried out by Al-Alimi faction of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) militant group.
Most of the casualties were caused when two of the attackers blew themselves up. The third was shot dead by Frontier Corps (FC) troops.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti confirmed to local TV channels that there had been three attackers.
“They first targeted the watch tower sentry, and after exchanging fire, killed him and were able to enter the academy grounds,” said Bugti.
As per Pakistani media reports, the attack on the Balochistan Police College, around 20 kilometres east of Quetta, began at around 11:10 pm Monday, with gunfire continuing to ring out at the site for several hours.
Major General Sher Afgan, chief of the paramilitary FC in Balochistan, which led the counter-operation, said the attack was over in around three hours.
“The operation needed to be conducted with precision therefore it took us four hours to clear the area completely.”
“There were three terrorists and all of them were wearing suicide vests,” he said. “Two suicide attackers blew themselves up, which resulted in casualties, while the third one was shot dead by our troops.”
He added that the militants had been communicating with their handlers in Afghanistan.
Afgan said communication intercepts showed the attackers belonged to LJ’s Al-Alimi faction, which is affiliated with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The group itself, however, has not claimed the attack.