Police academy attack in Pakistan leaves at least 61 dead

Officials blame poor security and mud wall of police training centre.

Officials blame poor security and mud wall of police training centre.

At least, 61 people, mostly young cadets, were massacred and more than 100 others injured when heavily-armed militants of Pakistani Taliban-affiliated Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) attacked a police training centre here in the capital of the restive Balochistan province, in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Pakistan.

At least, three gunmen stormed Quetta’s sprawling Police Training College on Monday night and targeted the sleeping quarters of recruits. They first killed a police guard at the watch tower and then stormed the dormitory while cadets rested. The Balochistan government on Tuesday came under attack over poor security arrangements at the police training academy.

Senior security officials said the terrorists managed to enter the facility, that has been previously attacked twice, taking advantange of the the inadequate security arrangements.

Despite percieved security threats, the boundary wall of the centre was made up of mud and five-feet high, officials said. They said security should have been enhanced since the facility was located in one of Quetta’s sensitive areas.

On September 6, inspector-general Ahsan Mehboob had requested chief minister Sanaullah Zehri for construction of a boundary wall for the academy. Zehri had promised the construction of a wall. The attack, however, took place before the wall could be constructed.

On Tuesday, he announced a three-day mourning in the province for those who lost their lives in the attack.

Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif visited the police training academy where he reviewed the security situation and was briefed on the attack by officials.

Meanwhile, China on Tuesday expressed shock over the terror attack and said it will continue to back Islamabad in the fight against terrorism and safeguarding national stability. “China is shocked by the huge casualties caused by terrorist attack in Quetta. We strongly condemn it, mourn the deceased and express sympathy for injured and bereaved families,“ Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told media here. The US also condemned the terror attack, saying it stands with the people and government of Pakistan and would continue to work with its partners to combat the threat of terrorism.

“We extend our condolences to the victims and their families, including the police cadets who are embarking on careers of public service,” state separtment spokesperson John Kirby said.

IG Frontier Corps Major General Sher Afgan said the three terrosists were believed to be from the Al-Alimi faction of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group affiliated to Pakistani Taliban. He told reporters the militants were communicating with handlers in Afghanistan. All three attackers were wearing suicide vests. Later, Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. It said three attackers were deployed for the attack but did not give the motive for carrying out the attack.

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