Quetta attack: Militants kill dozens at Balochistan Police College

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At least 58 cadets and guards have been killed after militants attacked a police college in the Pakistani city of Quetta, officials say.

Three militants wearing suicide bomb vests entered the college late on Monday, reportedly taking hostages.
A major security operation was ongoing for hours and all three were killed.

It is not clear who carried out the assault but Quetta has seen similar attacks by separatist groups and Islamist militants.

Hundreds of trainees were evacuated from Balochistan Police College as troops arrived to repel the militants.
Pakistan’s army and the paramilitary Frontier Corps took part in the military counter-operation, which Balochistan provincial home minister Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti said was now over.

“I saw three men in camouflage whose faces were hidden carrying Kalashnikovs,” one cadet said according to AFP news agency. “They started firing and entered the dormitory but I managed to escape over a wall.” The police academy is home to about 600 students.

Two of the militants died after detonating their bomb vests and one was killed by security forces, he said.

Many of the cadets were killed by the blasts, said Major General Sher Afgan of the Frontier Corps.

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He blamed a faction of the Lashker-e-Jhangvi militant group and said the attackers “were in communication with operatives in Afghanistan”.

No group has so far said it was behind the attack, which happened late on Monday. At least three explosions were reported at the scene by local media.

There was intermittent exchange of fire between the attackers and security forces for several hours, according to Dawn newspaper. There were also reports of a hostage situation.

More than 100 people, mostly trainees, were injured.

Quetta is the capital of Balochistan province, which is battling an insurgency as well as Islamist militants, with violent attacks common.

Earlier in the day, two customs officers were shot dead and another critically wounded in Surab, south of Quetta.
In August, 88 people were killed in separate bomb attacks targeting a hospital and lawyers in Quetta.

The Pakistani military has been conducting military operations against militants in volatile tribal areas near the Afghan border.

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