Daesh claims responsibility for Pakistan police attack
by Compiled from Wire Services
ISTANBULOct 26, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Compiled from Wire Services
Oct 26, 2016 12:00 am
Militants wearing suicide vests stormed a Pakistani police academy in the southwestern city of Quetta, Balochistan province overnight, killing at least 61 people, mostly police cadets and recruits, and waging a ferocious gun battle with troops that lasted into early hours Tuesday in an attacks claimed by Daesh militants. This was the second deadly attack in the city in over two months by the Daesh that is seeking inroads in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Major General Sher Afghan, head of the Frontier Corps paramilitary based in Balochistan, said all three gunmen had been killed and belonged to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami, a Sunni sectarian militant group.
Pakistani officials feared the death toll could rise further, as the four-hours-long siege, one of the deadliest attacks on Pakistan's security forces in recent years, left 117 wounded, some of them in critical condition. Militant attacks in Pakistan have killed hundreds of people, including many schoolchildren over the past 3 years. Quetta has for decades now been the focus of sectarian violence in Balochistan that has killed thousands. For over a decade, Balochistan has been the scene of a low-intensity insurgency by nationalist and separatist groups demanding a bigger share in the regional resources. Daesh militants and Sunni sectarian also have a presence in the province.
Turkey on Tuesday strongly condemned the terrorist attack on a police training center in Pakistan's Quetta city that left 61 people dead and more than 100 others wounded late Monday. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said: "We strongly condemn this heinous terrorist attack that targeted Pakistan's stability and security." Turkey "wishes [Allah's] mercy upon those who lost their lives," a speedy recovery to the wounded and conveys its condolences to the Pakistani government and the "brotherly" Pakistani people, the statement added. "We repeat our belief that the ones who organized the terrorist attack will not be able to achieve their goal to destabilize Pakistan and it will not decrease Pakistan's determination in the fight against terrorism. "We confirm that Turkey will maintain its solidarity with brotherly country Pakistan," the statement added.
Pakistan has carried out several military operations against militants in country's lawless tribal regions along Afghanistan border, including a major push that started mid 2014 in North Waziristan, a militant base. The Daesh have killed tens of thousands of people in their bid to overthrow Pakistan's government and install their own harsh brand of Islamic law. In August, a suicide bomber blew himself among lawyers outside a hospital in Quetta, killing 88 people in one of the deadliest attack to hit Pakistan this year.
Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province that shares borders with both Iran and Afghanistan, has been facing violence on several fronts in recent years. It has seen attacks by Daesh, the killing of Shiite Muslims by Sunni extremists and a low-profile insurgency by nationalist groups seeking liberation from mainland Pakistan.
Balochistan also has a Chinese-built deep-sea port as part of Beijing's road and rail corridor to access markets in the Middle East and beyond.