QUETTA: At least 60 cadets were martyred and 116 were injured late on Monday night in firing by unidentified armed men who attacked Quetta Police Training Center.
Three militants last night stormed a police training college in Quetta, prompting a military operation to clear the premises which also houses hundreds of police cadets. The reports said that three militants forced their entry into the hostel from the front gate around 9:30pm and held hostage 250 cadets.
Almost 250 cadets had been got released by SSG commandos. A police cadet named Zubair was killed, as intermittent exchange of fire was still continuing. Two army helicopters were providing aerial surveillance of the area. According to the report, hearing two loud explosions, with one saying the ground shook when the explosion occurred inside the college. The terrorists were said to be carrying AK-47s and grenades.
Over 120 injured have been taken to hospitals as the military commandoes and soldiers of Frontier Constabulary battle with the militants to clear the training centre situated at the famous Saryab Road, 20km to the south of the city. The Security forces were able to clear the area after 5 hours and the entry, exit routes were opened for traffic in the morning. A large number of security officials returned to the barracks after conducting a search and sweep operation, declaring the training centre clear. Bodies of the martyred police cadets were shifted to Police Line, where their funeral prayers will also be offered later during the day.
- Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami behind attack -
Major General Sher Afghan, chief of the paramilitary FC in Balochistan, said that the attackers were associated with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami terrorist group and were receiving directions from Afghanistan. He praised the armed forces for carrying out a swift operation against the militants and securing the area. “Within three hours the operation was concluded,” he said. “What could be better than that?”
Talking to the journalists, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that a definitive death toll could not be ascertained at the moment yet the expected toll could be anywhere between twenty to thirty officials. He said that the militants had targeted the guard of the hostel before entering the premises. “The militants targeted the sentry stationed at the watch tower," he said. "He fought bravely against the militants but embraced martyrdom,” he added.
Bugti claimed that at the time of the attack, an estimated 700 cadets were present inside the Police Training Centre. He further claimed that two suicide bombers also blew themselves up inside the training centre. One suicide bomber was killed before he could detonate himself. “The attackers were receiving directions from Afghanistan,” he said.
According to the ISPR, 5-6 terrorists entered the hostel of the Police Training Centre and opened indiscriminate fire. ISPR also disclosed that FC personnel and police had reached the place of the attack and surrounded the training centre.