A group of gunmen stormed the Police Training College in Quetta in southwestern Pakistan on late Monday evening, killing at least 60 people and injuring many more while exchanging gunfire with security forces.
The attack began at 11:30 p.m. local time on Monday when at least 3 armed men stormed the training center and went straight for the school’s hostel, where they attacked the guard before entering the building. About 600 recruits were staying there.
An unknown number of recruits were taken hostage by the attackers as they exchanged fire with security forces, officials said. Heavy bursts of gunfire continued through much of the night and a number of loud bangs were also heard, though it is unclear how many were caused by explosives.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti confirmed at about 4 a.m. that the operation had ended after two of the attackers blew themselves up and the third was shot dead by security forces. Initial reports that as many as six attackers were involved appear to have been inaccurate.
By 7:30 a.m., the government reported that the confirmed death toll from the attack had risen to at least 60, excluding the attackers. Most of those killed were police recruits but it is unclear how many members of the security forces are among the dead.
The death toll is expected to rise and a state of emergency has been declared at all area hospitals, which have been flooded with victims. More than 110 injured were being treated at hospitals, including an unspecified number of victims who are critically injured.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the deadly siege, though the Frontier Corps blamed the attack on the militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Other reports suggested a link to the Islamic State group (ISIS), but neither claim could be confirmed by BNO News.
Monday night’s attack comes more than 2 months after a suicide bomber blew himself up among mourners at a hospital in Quetta, killing at least 74 people and injuring many more. The attack, which targeted lawyers, was claimed by the Islamic State group.
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