The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on police academy in Quetta that killed more than 60 policemen and wounded more than 100 on Tuesday.
“Militants came directly into our barrack. They just barged in and started firing point blank. We started screaming and running around in the barrack,” one police cadet who survived told media as masked gunmen stormed the college on the outskirts of Quetta late on Monday. Some cadets were taken hostage during the raid, which lasted nearly five hours.
While the surviving ones spoke of jumping out of windows and crawling under beds as masked gunmen hunted them down. Video footage from inside one of the barracks showed blackened walls and rows of charred beds.
The news agency of Islamic State, Amaq published the claim of responsibility and further said that three IS fighters “used machine guns and grenades, then blew up their explosive vests in the crowd”.
Even as the IS claimed responsibility for the attack, Pakistani officials pointed out to the another Sunni extremist group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and suspected its presence behind the .
Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister of the province of Baluchistan, whose capital is Quetta, said the gunmen attacked a dormitory in the training facility, while cadets rested and slept.
“Two attackers blew up themselves, while a third one was shot in the head by security men,” Bugti said. Earlier, officials had said there were five to six gunmen.
One of the top military commanders in Baluchistan, General Sher Afgun, told media that calls intercepted between the attackers and their handlers suggested they were from the sectarian Sunni militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).
“We came to know from the communication intercepts that there were three militants who were getting instructions from Afghanistan,” Afgun told media, adding that the Al Alami faction of LeJ was behind the attack.