Quetta: At least 59 security personnel were killed and more than 100 injured as militants attacked a police academy in the province of Balochistan in Pakistan, media reports said.
Six terrorists stormed the police training centre, prompting an operation by the military, media reports said. Talking to the media, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that the toll may climb up in the next few hours. He said that the affected compound has been cleared by security forces who fought against the terrorists. Bugti said that nearly 700 police recruits were present at the time of the attack.
At least three terrorists have been killed and nearly 250 police recruits have been freed after the attack.
“There were three terrorists and all of them were wearing suicide vests. Two suicide attackers blew themselves up, which resulted in casualties, while the third one was shot dead by our troops,” said Major General Sher Afgan. He also informed the press that the attackers were getting directions from Afghanistan and the initial investigation suggests that the terrorists were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al Almi.
The attack began around 9.30 p.m. on Monday, as two attackers reportedly entered the complex through the front gate after shooting the guard, while others climbed the rear wall of the training centre.
“I am myself monitoring the situation. Our forces have entered into the centre and soon these terrorists will be eliminated,” said Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri as saying.
The training college is situated on Sariab Road, which is one of the most sensitive areas of Quetta. Militants have been targeting security forces in the area for almost a decade.
The training college has come under attack in the past in 2008 and 2006, with attackers firing rockets into the college playground. In August, a suicide bombing at a Quetta hospital killed 73 persons. The attack was later claimed by the Islamic State group and the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.