Pakistan

Tragedy hits Pakistan again; 51 dead + over 97 injured

So far 51 people, principally cadets, were killed and 97 were wounded in the attack, declared provincial officials.

Three terrorists charged a police training college in Quetta Monday night, inciting an operation by military and Frontier Corps forces to evacuate the premises which houses over 600 police cadets.

At a press conference, General Sher Afgan, Inspector General Frontier Corps (FC) Major, while briefing about the operation, informed that the exact count of casualties cannot be verified right now “but more than 20 people were killed in the attack and 65 wounded”.

The IG FC said the terrorists were interacting with their handlers in Afghanistan. “There were three terrorists, and all were wearing suicide vests,” he added.

“Two suicide attackers blew themselves up, which caused in such casualties, while the third one was killed by the troops.” Suicide jacket of one attacker was not detonated, and his body was lying at the center premises.

The operation needed to be carried with precision; which is why took four hours to evacuate the area entirely, he added.

“No recruit were critically wounded; however, some military personnel who handled the operation sustained critical injuries.”

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti also validated the death toll and informed the clearance process had been triumphantly executed.

The attackers were involved in a sporadic exchange of gunfire with security forces for several hours, with reports of a hostage situation.

The cadets were saved from the college after an operation conducted by Special Services Group (SSG) commandos.

At least three explosions were described at the scene by local media, with one journalist stating the explosions rocked the area. Gunfire and explosions were overheard from inside the center.

Two army helicopters provided aerial surveillance of the area. Some 65 people were wounded were treated at Civil Hospital, of them five were with bullet wounds. Three were believed to be in grave condition.

The place where the training college is situated, it is deemed to be one of the most secure areas of Quetta. Militants have been targeting security forces in the region for nearly a decade.

It has previously come under attack in 2008 and 2006, with attackers firing rockets into the college yard. It comprises about an acre of land situated about 13 kilometers outside the main city of Quetta.

The attackers supposedly entered the compound through the front gate after shooting the guard guarding the check post, around 9:30 pm. While the third reportedly climbed the rear wall of the police center.

Senior law enforcement agencies stated that assailants had fired at the police training center from five different positions.

He had added that initial investigations showed the terrorists were in the hostel, and as it was dark, there was trouble in identifying friend from foe.
Extraordinary security arrangements were made in and outside the hospital to prevent any untoward incident, especially in the wake of August 8 attack when a suicide attacker targeted the hospital.

An emergency was declared in all government hospitals of the provincial capital, with the injured shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta and the Bolan Medical Complex.

In August, a suicide bombing at a Quetta hospital claimed by the Islamic State group and the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar killed 73 people, including many of the city’s lawyer community who had gone there to mourn the fatal shooting of a colleague.

Balochistan is a key region for $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project linking its western province of Xinjiang to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan.

Security problems have mired CPEC in the past with numerous attacks.

Balochistan is also a restive region of Pakistan which has been calling for Independence. Pakistan army has been reported to have committed many grave human rights crimes there over the decades.

 

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