62 cadets martyred, 165 injured in terror attack on police academy in Quetta
Some 200 trainees were stationed at the facility when the attack occurred late on Monday, officials said, and some were taken hostage during the attack which lasted five hours.
Most of the dead were police cadets.
Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti had confirmed early on Tuesday that five to six gunmen had attacked a dormitory inside the training facility while cadets rested and slept.
He said that over 700 cadets were being trained at the academy.
IG FC Major General Sher Afgun told the media that calls intercepted between the attackers and their handlers suggested they were from the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
He said that terrorists were getting instructions from Afghanistan.
The IG FC said that they had foiled terror attacks on Eid and Muhamrram.
Police, military and paramilitary personnel arrived at the training center within 20 minutes of the attack and launched an operation which last around five hours, the home ministry said.
The Balochistan government has announced three-day mourning.
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.
Monday night’s attack also appeared well coordinated, with senior law enforcement agencies saying that assailants had fired at the police training center from five different points.
Later, the attackers entered the center’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 in the past.
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 US drone strike while traveling to Quetta from the Pakistan-Iran border. –Reuters