Survivors of the deadly attack on a police training college near Pakistan’s Quetta recounted their chilling stories of when heavily armed terrorists stormed into the dormitories in the dead of the night and opened fire.
Cadets at a police training academy in Pakistan awoke to the horror of suicide bomb-wielding terrorists in an attack late Monday that killed 61 and injured 117.
“We were sleeping when terrorists attacked the center,” said Asif Hussain, a cadet who was in the academy’s barracks at the time, reports CNN.
Hussain further said that the cadets were caught by surprise and had no guns and were powerless to fight back when the militants struck through the window.
Sarfraz Bugti, home minister for Balochistan province, said three attackers were killed during the assault in Quetta, which targeted a hostel at the academy where hundreds of police recruits were sleeping.
Security forces killed one attacker during the hours-long operation that followed, while two others died when they detonated the bombs they were carrying,
At least 260 cadets were rescued during the operation, which lasted through early Tuesday.
Safar Khan, a 24-year-old cadet who was inside his barracks when gunshots rang out, told CNN the survivors refused to be intimidated.
“We will not bow down before terrorists,” he said.
Islamic State released a claim of responsibility for the attack via its Amaq media wing, including a photo of the three purported attackers.
However, Major General Sher Afgan, chief of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, had earlier said that military officials believed Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was behind the attack.
Spokesman for Balochistan province’s government Anwar ul Haq Kakar, said Islamic State’s claim of responsibility was being investigated.
UN chief condemns terror attack
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the terror attack on the police academy, calling for perpetrators of the “abhorrent act” of violence to be brought to justice swiftly.
In a statement issued by his office, Ban said he condemns the attack in which at least 61 people, mostly cadets, were killed and more than 100 people injured.
The Secretary-General extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Pakistan.
-- With inputs from PTI
Image: Family stand around the bed of a police cadet injured during the attack on the Police Training Center in a hospital in Quetta. Photograph: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters