UPDATE: 11 p.m. EDT — At least 59 people are dead and 117 critically injured in an attack on a police training academy in Quetta, Pakistan, government officials said Tuesday, Pakistan time.
Gunman stormed the facility late Monday, taking 200 trainees hostage. Most of the dead are police cadets, Reuters reported.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Up to 500 cadets were being held hostage Monday inside a police training center in a suburban area in Quetta, Pakistan. Roughly six terrorists entered a dorm at the training center and opened fire, leaving at least 20 people wounded, according to media reports.
An emergency was imposed across hospitals in Quetta. According to sources, trainees who were injured while escaping from the attack were shifted to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri directed police to send more personnel to clear the area.
A spokesperson for the Balochistan government told Geo News that there was prior intelligence of the attack and security was put on high alert.
“Five to six terrorists barged into the academy from back side and went straight to the hostel,” spokesman Anwar ul Haq Kakar told SAMAA. “Around 200 to 250 normally stay in the academy’s hostel,” he added. Journalists in the area called on people to donate blood after the attack.
Even as militant attacks have decreased in Pakistan as a whole in the past two years, Quetta remains violent. The Pakistani Taliban has carried out terrorist attacks in Quetta and in the large province of Balochistan, according to an Aljazeera report. Aditionally, the Afghan Taliban’s leadership is based in Quetta, and ongoing violence continues to plague the city.
In August, a suicide bomb attack killed at least 70 people at a hospital in Quetta. A faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing in southwest Pakistan.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said at the time: "No-one will be allowed to disturb the peace of the province. The people, policy and security forces in Balochistan have given sacrifices for the country."