At least 60 people were killed and more than 120 people were injured after three militants attacked a police training college on Monday night in Pakistan's Quetta, Dawn reported. The facility is home to around 700 cadets. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier, Frontier Corps Inspector-General Major General Sher Afgan had said the attack was carried out by the Al-Alimi faction of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi militant group, which has been behind sectarian attacks in Balochistan in the past. Quetta is the capital of the province.
While two of the attackers blew themselves up, the third militant was shot dead by Frontier Corps troops. The area was secured after a nearly five-hour-long operation. Law enforcement officials said the attackers fired at the complex from five different points after entering through the front gates, killing the guard present there. They then entered the cadets’ barracks and fired at those sleeping there. Police and paramilitary personnel arrived at the college around 20 minutes after the attack started, Reuters reported.
The facility has previously been attacked in 2006 and 2008. The incident is being seen as the deadliest in Pakistan since a suicide attack on a hospital in Quetta on August 8, which killed at least 70 people. More than 100 people were injured in that blast, with a breakaway faction of the Pakistan Taliban – the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar – claiming responsibility for it.
Support and condolence messages have poured in following the attack. India's Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar expressed his grief and said states should desist from supporting non-state actors involved in militancy. "Sometimes it bounces on you too," he added. Pakistani leaders cut across political lines to come out in support of the victims and condemn the attack.