In one of the deadliest terror attacks in Pakistan, militants opened targeted the Police Academy in Quetta, the capital of the volatile southwestern province of Baluchistan, killing at least 60 people and injuring over 120.
Two of the terrorists blew themselves up, and one terrorist was gunned down by the Pakistani troops, said reports from Pakistan.
Armed militants burst into the academy late Monday night (October 24), targeting the sleeping quarters, which are home to nearly 700 cadets. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is based in Pakistan with limited operations in nearby Afghanistan. “The “terrorists were communicating with their handlers in Afghanistan” and all three had suicide vests on,” said Maj. Gen. Sher Afgan, chief of the paramilitary Frontier Corps in Baluchistan.
Quetta, the capital of insurgency-infested Baluchistan province, is not new to such attacks. In a separate incident in August this year, 80 people were killed in a terror attack. There is a low intensity insurgency going on in Baluchistan, spearheaded by the Baloch separatists who in the past have claimed responsibility for attacks on Pakistani security forces and government officials. The Islamic militants have also been able to penetrate in the province which shares a border with Afghanistan.
The attack took place amid growing international pressure on Pakistan to act against terrorist hideouts and to stop providing safe haven to terror groups. The Pakistan government started an operation in 2014 called Zarb-e-Azb, a joint military offensive conducted by the Pakistani armed forces against various militant organizations. This new policy seems to be backfiring, with Pakistan facing a severe internal terror threat from these homegrown terrorists.
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