Fighting terrorism; how Quetta city was saved from a major disaster?


The way attack was handled and a disaster averted indicates Pakistan has come of age in fighting terrorism

A few days ago, terrorists attacked sector headquarters of Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan, at Quetta, the capital city of Pakistan’s Balochistan province.  This attack was of massive proportion and if the attackers, who were being handled in real-time from across Pak-Afghan border, were not engaged and neutralized swiftly and effectively, it could spell disaster for the city.  FC is a paramilitary force assigned to police certain areas of the province, control smuggling and safeguard Pak-Iran and Pak- Afghan border. In the line of its duties, the Force is currently fighting terrorists of all hues.

According to the details now becoming available, 5 suicide bombers trained by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were sent with a heavy cache of ammunition packed in a vehicle. The suicide bombers were trained using 3D model of FC Sec HQ building which was their preferred target as it had about 600 personnel living within the premises.

On May 17, 2018 at around 8.50 pm, the terrorists tried to break into the premises. It was time for Ramadan-specific prayers, the traweeh. Five heavily-armed terrorists launched their attack on the premises. Initially, one suicide bomber exploded on main gate resulting in severe damage to the gate and boundary wall. First casualty was a motorway police constable who was standing behind the gate.  Sentries on gate post fell feet away but were replaced by other soldiers immediately.

Taking advantage of the initial blast effect, remaining four suicide bombers attempted to break in from broken wall and the gate. They were engaged by bunkers behind the gate and side wall. One terrorist was killed while attempting to enter from broken wall, without exploding his suicide jacket. Remaining three were killed outside the main gate after heavy exchange of fire. These terrorists used SMGs, grenades and UBGL Grenades in the fire exchange. However, they were not able to enter the compound and killed outside the boundary wall.

FC troops inside the premises demonstrated extreme courage and bravery and did not lose nerve even for a moment. In the face of massive blasts, shock effects and complete blackout of the premises, these troops responded very well. Apart from one death of motorway police constable, seven FC Soldiers were injured.

Arms and ammunition recovered included sub machine guns, grenade launchers, hand grenades and above all, suicide jackets.

The way attack was handled and foiled indicates Pakistan has come of age in fighting terrorism. The major factor which helped soldiers keep their nerve and eliminate the terrorists was their continuous training and mock exercises in dealing with such situations.