Pakistanis hold funerals for victims of Quetta attack

October 25, 2016 7:15 pm
Pakistanis have held funerals for the victims of a deadly attack on a police training academy in the restive Balochistan province that left over 60 people dead.
The funerals were held under tight security in the southwestern city of Quetta, the volatile provincial capital of Balochistan, on Tuesday.
’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Chief Minister of Balochistan Sanullah Zehri, Balochistan’s Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti, Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar, and other civil and military officials attended the funeral prayers.
Masked gunmen stormed the training center on the outskirts of Quetta overnight Tuesday and took scores of police recruits hostage.
Hundreds of cadets were evacuated from the center when troops arrived to repel the attack.

In this handout photograph released on October 25, 2016, senior Pakistani civilian and military officials attend funeral prayers for those killed in an attack on the Police Training College Balochistan in Quetta. (Via AFP)

The siege lasted for several hours and ended after fierce gun battles between security forces and the assailants.
Two of the attacker died when they detonated their explosives while the others were killed by security forces.
The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, which sent shockwaves across the troubled region.
Pakistani officials earlier said a notorious anti-Shia terrorist group known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) was probably behind the attack.
The LeJ terrorist group, which has been involved in several attacks on Shia Muslims in recent years, is largely funded by Saudi Arabia. It has claimed responsibility for some of the most brazen attacks on the Shia community in Pakistan’s recent history, including a January 2013 bombing in Quetta, where over 100 members of the Hazara community were killed.
The recent assault is one of the deadliest attacks on Pakistani security forces in recent years.
In August, Daesh claimed responsibility for an attack on a gathering of mourners at a hospital in Quetta that killed 70 people but that attack was also claimed by Pakistani Taliban faction, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.

Pakistani army soldiers arrive at the Balochistan Police Training College in Quetta on October 24, 2016, after militants attacked the police academy. (Photo by AFP)

Pakistan has been battling al-Qaeda-linked terrorists and pro-Taliban militants for years, especially after the US-led invasion of neighboring Afghanistan in 2001 and the subsequent spillover of militancy into the region.
In June 2014, the Pakistani army intensified its anti-militancy efforts by deploying thousands of troops near the border with Afghanistan to wipe out militant bases in the northwestern tribal area and bring an end to the bloody militancy.
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