Mil­i­tants at­tack po­lice academy, killing 61

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

QUETTA (AP): ILITANTS WEAR­ING sui­cide vests stormed a Pak­istani po­lice academy in the south­west­ern city of Quetta overnight, killing 61 peo­ple, mostly po­lice cadets and re­cruits, and wag­ing a fe­ro­cious gun bat­tle with troops that lasted into the early hours on Tues­day.

The four-hour siege – one of the dead­li­est at­tacks on Pak­istan’s se­cu­rity forces in re­cent years — also wounded 123, mainly po­lice trainees but also some para­mil­i­tary troops, ac­cord­ing to Wasay Khan, a spokesman for the elite Fron­tier Corps. Some of the wounded were re­ported to be in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

The as­sault caught many of the re­cruits asleep in their dorms and forced cadets and train­ers to jump off rooftops and run for their lives to es­cape the at­tack­ers.

MCONFLICTING CLAIMS

Pak­istani troops re­spond­ing to the as­sault said it was over after all three sui­cide bombers in­volved in the at­tack were killed – one was gunned down while two oth­ers blew them­selves up.

Later Tues­day, con­flict­ing claims of re­spon­si­bil­ity emerged. The Is­lamic State Peo­ple wait to carry the bod­ies of their fam­ily mem­bers who died in an at­tack on the Po­lice Train­ing Academy in Quetta, Pak­istan, on Tues­day. Mil­i­tants wear­ing sui­cide vests stormed a Pak­istani po­lice academy in the south­west­ern city of Quetta overnight, killing dozens of peo­ple, mostly po­lice cadets and re­cruits, and wag­ing a fe­ro­cious gun bat­tle with troops.

group (IS), which is wag­ing war in Syria and Iraq where it has de­clared a self-styled caliphate, posted a claim on the group’s me­dia arm, the Ara­bic-lan­guage Aa­maq news agency. It said three IS fight­ers killed 60 po­lice re­cruits in Quetta, but the claim was not con­firmed by Pak­istani of­fi­cials and IS did not of­fer any

pre­vi­ously un­known de­tails about the as­sault.

SPEC­TAC­U­LAR ASSUALT

Ear­lier, a lit­tle-known break­away fac­tion of the Pak­istani Tal­iban, known as the Hakimul­lah group, also is­sued a state­ment claim­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack. Pak­istani of­fi­cials, doubt­ing the group’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties in stag­ing such a co­or­di­nated and

spec­tac­u­lar as­sault, also could not con­firm that claim.

While most of the ca­su­al­ties were cadets and oth­ers from the academy, some of the army per­son­nel who re­sponded to the as­sault were also among those killed, said Shahzada Farhat, po­lice spokesman in Quetta, the cap­i­tal of Baluchis­tan prov­ince.

The at­tack be­gan at 11:30 p.m.

on Mon­day, said Baluchis­tan Home Min­is­ter Sar­fraz Bugti, with three mil­i­tants shoot­ing and killing a po­lice guard at the watch­tower be­fore storm­ing into the academy, lo­cated on the city’s out­skirts.

About 700 cadets, trainees, in­struc­tors and other staff were in­side the academy when it was at­tacked, Bugti said.

AP

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