Quetta: At least 60 cadets and guards have been killed after militants attacked a police college in the Pakistani city of Quetta, officials say.
Three militants wearing suicide bomb vests entered the college late on Monday, reportedly taking hostages. A major security operation that lasted for hours saw all attackers killed.
No group has said it carried out the assault, but Quetta has seen similar attacks by separatists and Islamist militants in recent years. The police spokesperson said that according to telephonic conversation they intercepted, the attackers came from Afghanistan.
Hundreds of trainees were evacuated from Balochistan city Quetta Police College as troops arrived to repel the militants. Local media reported at least three explosions at the scene.
“I saw three men in camouflage whose faces were hidden carrying Kalashnikovs,” one cadet said according to AFP news agency. “They started firing and entered the dormitory but I managed to escape over a wall.”
The police academy is home to hundreds of students and many of the cadets who died were killed in the suiciders’ blasts, said Major General Sher Afgan of the Frontier Corps.
More than 100 people were injured.
Pakistan’s army and the paramilitary Frontier Corps took part in the military counter-operation, which Balochistan provincial home minister Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti said was now over.
Two of the militants died after detonating their bomb vests and one was killed by security forces.
Officials blamed a faction of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant group and said the attackers “were in communication with operatives in Afghanistan”.