An attack on a police academy in Quetta, Pakistan, has left more than 60 people dead and more than 100 injured. Most of the dead were young police cadets.
The cadets were asleep when the assault began. One survivor says three or four gunmen barged into their dormitory and started firing.Some cadets escaped by jumping off the roof. Officials say all the attackers are now dead, and that two detonated suicide vests.
The siege lasted four hours, The Associated Press reports, with the attackers battling Pakistani troops who responded to the assault. Some army personnel were among the victims of the battle, which finally ended in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
About 700 cadets, trainees and staff were in the police academy when it was attacked.
Some of the wounded are in critical condition and there are worries the death toll may rise even further,Quetta is the capital of the province of Baluchistan, in southwestern Pakistan. Separatist insurgents regularly carry out attacks there.
There’s disagreement over who was responsible for the attack on the academy. A senior Pakistani security official is blaming an offshoot of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a notoriously violent Islamist sectarian group.
Meanwhile the reports says that the Hakimullah group, “a little known breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban,” has claimed responsibility for the attack, but that Pakistani authorities doubt if the group had the ability to carry out such an attack.
The reports says that some of the injured were struck by bullets, while others had been wounded by their leap from the building’s roof to escape the attack. It makes remember an attack on a hospital in Quetta killed scores of people just a few months ago.
The number of attacks in Pakistan has dropped after an army crackdown on some militant groups yet they haven’t stopped. This year alone, they’ve killed hundreds, including children, women, and college kids