59 killed as gunmen attack Quetta police training centre
Fifty-nine people were killed on Monday night as gunmen stormed a police training <g data-gr-id="62" style="color: #3b3b3b; font-size: 11px;">centre</g> in Quetta in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province and detonated explosive vests, the authorities said.
Balochistan’s top health official, Noor Haq Baloch, said at least 106 people, mostly police <g data-gr-id="54">trainees</g> and some paramilitary troops, were injured.
Major General Sher Afgan, chief of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, told reporters that the attackers appeared to be in contact with their handlers in Afghanistan. They belonged to the banned <g data-gr-id="56">Lashker</g>-e-Jhangvi group affiliated to al-Qaida.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said one of the attackers was killed by security forces and two detonated their explosive vests. Security forces have completed their operation but were engaged in the cleanup process.
Mr. Bugti said at the time of the attack, about 700 trainees were at the base. More than 200 were rescued immediately after the attack.
The gunmen attacked the hostel at the police training center in a suburban area.
“They were rushing toward our building firing shots so we rushed for safety toward the roof and jumped down in the back to save our lives,” one of the police trainees told Geo television.
Balochistan police chief Ahsan Mahboob told reporters that police and paramilitary forces surrounded the hostel. A statement issued by the military put the number of attackers at six.
Footage from local television showed ambulances rushing out of the main entrance of the training center as fire engines sped in to put out fires set off when the gunmen threw incendiary devices.
Most of those being treated at city hospitals had gunshot wounds, although some sustained injuries jumping off the roof of the hostel and climbing a wall to escape the gunmen. Nearly all of the wounded were police; two were paramilitary troops, the authorities said.
Local television reported that two explosions were also heard, but it was not immediately clear what caused them.
The attack came hours after gunmen shot and killed two customs officers and wounded a third near the town of <g data-gr-id="55">Surab</g>, about 145 km south of Quetta.
The customs officers were targeted by gunmen riding a motorcycle, said Zainullah Baloch, a spokesman <g data-gr-id="50">of</g> the local police. Baloch said two officers died at the scene and the wounded officer was <g data-gr-id="59">hospitalised</g> in critical condition.
Earlier on Monday, two gunmen on a motorcycle killed a police intelligence officer in the country’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said local police officer Khalid Khan.
The attackers fled the scene after killing the officer, who was on his way to work in the provincial capital of Peshawar.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack. The group’s spokesman, Muhammad Khurasani, said in a statement that the shooters returned to their hideout after the attack.