Tuesday Oct 25, 2016
QUETTA: At least 61 security personnel were martyred and 117 injured when terrorists stormed the Police Training College located on Sariab Road late Monday night.
The terrorists entered the hostel of the centre and opened fire on the security personnel. According to personnel in the hostel, the terrorists started firing point blank.
After the terrorists stormed the centre, heavy contingents of police and Frontier Corps reached the spot and surrounded the vicinity. Pakistan Army, FC troops, as well as police commandos cleared the hostels after four hours of operation. Following the operation, recruits of the college returned to their barracks.
Talking to journalists, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that three militants had targeted the guard of the hostel before entering the premises.
"The militants targeted the sentry stationed at the watch tower. He fought bravely against the militants but embraced martyrdom," he said.
At the time of the attack, an estimated 700 cadets were present inside the police training centre, Bugti said, adding that two suicide bombers blew themselves up inside the training centre. One of the terrorists who was also wearing a suicide jacket was killed before he could detonate his explosives. The Balochistan Home Minister further said that 250 cadets had been rescued.
A Pakistan Army captain also embraced martyrdom in the ensuing security forces operation at the hostel.
Attackers belonged to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al Almi: IG FC
IG FC Major General Sher Afgun informed the press that the attackers acted on directions from Afghanistan and the initial investigation suggests that the terrorists were affiliated with the outlawed Lashkar-e- Jhangvi Al Almi militant group.
"We came to know from the communication intercepts that there were three militants who were getting instructions from Afghanistan," Afgun told media
According to a recruit who witnessed the entire incident, the militants had barged into the training centre and opened indiscriminate fire. "Then, they entered into the barracks," he said. The militants' faces were covered.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had initially said that five to six terrorists had stormed the police training centre. However, later Home Minister Balochistan revealed that three terrorists had carried out the attack.
Those injured in the attack were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta and the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), sources said. They included recruits, who attempted to flee the centre as terrorists waged the attack. Meanwhile, emergency has been imposed in the hospitals across the provincial capital.
Roads leading to the Quetta Civil Hospital have been blocked for traffic. Shops in the locality have been closed for business.
Balochistan CM claims security was on high alert
According to Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri, there were prior intelligence reports of an attack and security had been on high alert. Due to high security across the provincial capital, these terrorists had opted for an attack on the police college in a suburban area, he added.
Praising the security forces, he said that the Pakistan Army and police worked together smoothly. "Security agencies fought valiantly. Those martyred in the attack are our heroes."
"Will get to the bottom of this," he added.
Prime Minister chairs high-level meeting
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a high-level meeting to review the law and order situation following the attack. The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, and other officials.
The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar and National Security Advisor Lt Gen (rtd) Nasir Janjua.
In the meeting, the law and order situation of the city and the recent attack on police training facility were discussed.
Earlier upon his arrival in Quetta, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the Civil Hospital where those injured in the attack were being treated. During the prime minister's visit, the Army chief was also present at the hospital.
The prime minister was accompanied by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri, and other officials.
Late Monday night, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack on Police Training Centre and instructed authorities to ensure safety of police recruits.
According to a press statement, PM Nawaz expressed concern over the attack and directed the federal and provincial security agencies to bring the perpetrators to task.
COAS arrives in Quetta, offers funeral prayers for martyrs
Army Chief General Raheel Sharif arrived in Quetta earlier this morning, accompanied by DG ISI Lieutenant-General Rizwan Akhtar and DG Military Intelligence Major General Nadeem Zaki Manj.
The Army chief visited the site of the tragedy under strict security. General Raheel met with police, Army and FC personnel who participated in the operation.
General Raheel appreciated the bravery of security personnel and said it was through their efforts that more lives were not lost.
Later, the Army chief, Balochistan Chief Minister, and other officials offered funeral prayers for some of the security personnel martyred along with the Pakistan Army captain who embraced martyrdom during the ensuing security forces operation.
People are sick and tired of collecting bodies of loved ones: Ch Nisar
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar lamented the loss of precious lives in the attack. "It is a sad moment for me and the entire country," he said, speaking to journalists.
He said that justice had just become a mere slogan for Pakistan, adding that people were sick and tired of picking up bodies of their loved ones.
Nisar added that the overall security situation of the country had improved and terrorism-related incidents had decreased, but a single incident like the one in Quetta wiped off the months of hard work security agencies had put into maintaining peace.
C4 explosives used in attack
The initial investigation of the attack has revealed that terrorists used the highly explosive C4 chemical in the attack.
According to sources, it was the use of this chemical which resulted in a fire breaking out at the hostel during the time of the attack.
We did not have weapons, say injured recruits
Security personnel injured in the attack told Geo News that they did not have weapons. The security personnel said that if they had weapons, they would have fought the terrorists bravely.
"If we had weapons, we would have taught them a lesson," said a recruit.
Video: Injured speak to Geo News
Others spoke of what they experienced when the attack was taking place in the hostel.
"The terrorist saw me and fired, after which they went inside the hostel," said one of the security personnel who was shot in his arm.
Gallantry awards announced for martyred Army Captain, injured troop
Gallantry awards were announced for a Pakistan Army Captain who was martyred and a naib subedar who was injured in the operation which was carried out after terrorists stormed the Police Training College in Quetta, ISPR said
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif announced that Capitan Roohullah who lost his life was awarded Tamgah-e-Jurat. Tamgha-e-Basalat has been announced for Naib Subedar Muhammad Ali who was injured in the attack.
Capitain Roohullah and Naib Subedar neutralised one suicide bomber and cornered the second bomber which helped a large number of police recruits escape till the terrorist exploded causing the damage.
Martyred personnel had completed training
According to reports, the martyred security personnel had completed their training and had been called to the centre from different districts.
The martyred personnel had their passing out ceremony on September 6 and had been called for additional security duty.
The security personnel had been called by Police Training College officials during the last week.
Timeline: Major terrorist attacks during 2016 in Quetta