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Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Terrorist Attack on Sri Lankan Cricket Team in Lahore: Is Lashkar-e-Taiba/Taliban alliance involved?

The attack had echoes of one on the Indian city of Mumbai last November, which led to the Indian cricket team cancelling its planned tour of Pakistan. According to a high ranking government official in Pakistan, the attack has "the same pattern, the same terrorists who attacked Mumbai might be involved in the current attack".


By Kamran Haider

Five members of the Sri Lankan cricket team were wounded when around a dozen gunmen attacked their bus as it drove under police escort on Tuesday to a stadium in the Pakistani city of Lahore, officials said.

Lahore Police chief Habib-ur-Rehman said five police were killed in the attack by unidentified gunmen who fired AK 47s and rockets and hurled grenades at the bus as it slowed at a traffic circle near the 60,000-seater Gaddafi stadium.

"Police are chasing the terrorists," he said. "They appeared to be trained men."

Punjab Governor Salman Taseer told reporters the assailants had been surrounded after being chased into a nearby commercial and shopping area.

"We were very fortunate to escape serious injury," a Sri Lankan player, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters by telephone.

Sri Lanka's sports minister said five players and an assistant coach were wounded, two of whom were being treated in hospital.

It was unclear whether injuries were caused by bullets, shrapnel or flying shards of glass.

The attack had echoes of one on the Indian city of Mumbai last November, which led to the Indian cricket team cancelling its planned tour of Pakistan.

"One thing I want to say it's the same pattern, the same terrorists who attacked Mumbai," said Governor Taseer.

India blamed that attack on Pakistan-trained militants and the incident sharply raised tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

The group blamed by India, Lashkar-e-Taiba, came from Pakistan's Punjab province, whose capital is Lahore.

Pakistani stocks were down over 2.47 percent in early trade on Tuesday following the attack on the cricket team bus.

The Karachi Stock Exchange benchmark 100-share index was 2.47 percent, or 140.22 points, lower at 5,541.022 on turnover of 16.8 million shares by 10:40 a.m. (5:40 a.m. British time).

"This is not only an attack on the Sri Lankan team but on Pakistan as Pakistan is being put in isolation due to these attacks," said Shuja Rizvi, director broking at Capital One Equities. "Who would want to invest then in Pakistan?"


Sri Lanka, which had been invited to Pakistan after India pulled out, immediately cancelled the rest of the tour.

"We are trying to bring the team back as quickly as possible," a Sri Lankan cricket official said.

Pakistan TV showed footage of gunmen with rifles and backpacks running through the streets and firing on unidentified vehicles.

"I saw them from the window of my office firing at the police escort first. When the police dispersed after the shooting, they started firing at the bus of Sri Lankan team," Mohammad Luqman told Reuters.

The driver of the Sri Lankan team coach said one of the attackers had thrown a grenade under the bus, but it did not detonate.

Another witness told Reuters he believed two police commandos were killed along with a regular policeman and a traffic warden.

Shopkeeper Ahmed Ali said the two police commandos had been driving behind the team bus when they were hit.

"It was a very heavy firing and I heard at least two explosions at the time," said a Reuters witness who had been on his way to cover the match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan and Pakistan media said Thilan Samaraweera seemed to be the worst hit, suffering a thigh injury. The other Sri player admitted to hospital was Tharanga Paranavithana.

It was the second day of their second test match and being played at the venue where Sri Lanka won cricket's world cup in 1996, beating Australia in the final

Until this series Pakistan had gone without test cricket for more then a year because of security issues.

In 2002, a bomb exploded in Karachi while the New Zealand cricket team were touring, killing 13 people including 11 French navy experts.

The tourists, based at the Pearl Continental Hotel, were preparing to depart for the National Stadium for the start of a match when a car exploded outside the nearby Karachi Sheraton. New Zealand called off the tour within hours of the attack.

(Writing by Simon Cameron-Moore; Editing by David Fox)



سری لنکا کی کرکٹ ٹیم پر فائرنگ، 6 کھلاڑی زخمی، 5 پولیس اہلکار ہلاک

لاہور میں سری لنکا کی کرکٹ ٹیم کو سٹیڈیم لے جانے والی بس پر منگل کی صبح نقاب پوش حملہ آوروں کی فائرنگ میں سری لنکا کے چھ کھلاڑی زخمی اور پنجاب پولیس کے پانچ اہلکار ہلاک ہو گئے ہیں۔
سری لنکا کے کرکٹ حکام کے مطابق چھ کھلاڑی زخمی ہوئے ہیں جن میں سمیرا ویرا، اجنتا مینڈس، کمارا سنگاکارا اورتھرنگا پرانا وتھانا شامل ہیں۔ تاہم زخمی ہونے والوں میں دو کھلاڑیوں کو ہسپتال منتقل کرنا پڑا

فائرنگ کے بعد گورنر پنجاب سلمان تاثیر جائے واردات پر پہنچ گئے اور انہوں نے کہا کہ اس حملے وہی عناصر ملوث ہیں جنہوں نے بھارت کے شہر ممبئی پر گزشتہ سال حملہ کیا تھا۔

انہوں نے کہا کہ یہ انتہائی تربیت یافتہ دہشت گرد معلوم ہوتے تھے جنہوں نے بڑے سکون کے ساتھ یہ کارروائی کی ہے۔


Must read: Imran Khan's interview


Imran Khan's interview in Australia: Terrorists will never attack cricketers because public will just turn against them...

Compare it with what the ICC chairman said today:

پاکستان میں کرکٹ اب ’انتہائی مشکل‘
ڈیوڈ مورگن
’بین الاقوامی کرکٹ سے قبل پاکستان میں بہت کچھ تبدیل ہونا ضروری ہے‘
بین الاقوامی کرکٹ کونسل کے صدر ڈیوڈ مورگن کا کہنا ہے کہ لاہور میں سری لنکن ٹیم پر حملے کے بعد مستقبل قریب میں پاکستان میں بین الاقوامی کرکٹ کا انعقاد انتہائی مشکل ہوگا
بی بی سی ریڈیو فور سے بات کرتے ہوئے ان کا کہنا تھا کہ ’یہ ایک تباہ کن اور افسوسناک خبر ہے۔ بہت سے لوگوں کا کہنا تھا کہ پاکستان میں کرکٹز کو نشانہ بنایا جانا ممکن نہیں لیکن اب یہ بات واضح طور پر غلط ثابت ہوگئی ہے‘۔


Also read:

The attack on Sri Lankan cricket team has all the hallmarks of the Taliban/Al Qaeda and ISI alliance: An analysis

Some relevant comments:

Owais said:

This is what happens when you negotiate with terrorists. What happens in Swat now bleeds into all cities and with this inept government, there is no stopping this madness.

Rest assured, no international sport will ever be played in Pakistan for a decade. Whoever carried out this attack has succeeded in portraying Pakistan as an extremely inhospitable place. Infuriating considering Lahore is always known for its hospitality and now innocents are dead and sport diplomats are injured.

rehan_s said:

What I dont understand is that why the fuck did PCB guarantee full security to Sri Lanka at a time when the whole country is burning…and how come these security ppl didnt even kill one single terrorist…and then the CCPO says Police has been great in performance…

Riddle 792 said:

CCPO Lahore (the beard police officer) said that the attackers guys in teens with fair complexion who look like pathans…… ” >> on AAJ TV…

ataraxis6 said:

Imran Khan once said in Capital Talk that terrorist will never attack cricket players. Unfortunately, has been proven wrong (again). These deshatgards have no religion, sense of morality or a shred of humanity.


yesterday the ICC cricket general manager who is on his official visit to Pakistanhad just issued a positive statement regarding cricket security situation in Pakistan and today this happened……..:(


Friend said:

what we doing, as usual blaming CIA/RAW/MOSAD without accepting our own responsibility to curb terrorism within our own boundaries

lota6177 said:

molvies (Mullahs) gone wild. We need to take care of this menace. Enough already.

Thankgod for the police officers in the security detail otherwise these terrorist would have killed the whole sri lankan cricket team.

lota6177 said:

from nytimes
Mr. Rehman said the gunmen were in their early 20s and were bearded. He described them as resembling Pathans, an ethnic group that dominates North West Frontier Province and tribal areas, an apparent suggestion that assailants were Taliban militants from the tribal areas.

lota6177 said:

bithullah masud is giving IT education in his camps and it is raw agents doing everything in pakistan. Case solved.

yes these peace loving mullahs can never do anything like this. They dont brainwash young kids to do evil acts and butcher innocent people. They have a lot of camps where they train people in IT education or computers. It is all raw and mosad agents who give these peace loving molvies a bad name. Shame on them. We should have a day of national solidarity to celebrate over peace loving educated molvies.

Source: pk politics


Anonymous said...

How long can Pakistanis continue to live in a state of denial? The so-called jihadis/Taliban bred and fostered by the ISI have decided to attack without any discrimination. Pakistan is not only a place for fanatics but is turning into a lunatic asylum where majority of the inhabitants are mentally ill.

Socrates said...


I agree with you that Pakistanis need to come out of stat of denial.
However, you are wrong in terming majority of Pakistanis as mentally ill. Majority of Pakistanis are peace loving people who are actually being held hostage by Taliban + ISI alliance !

Shaheryar Ali said...

The way these attacks have been reported, it could be Let. or lets be honest and say our dear ISI. The terrorist looked and acted very trained.
There is another aspect to it. For a year Shahbaz Shaif's Punjab was a safe heaven for Taliban. With Shaheen Sehbai's report , no one should be under any doubt, establishment wants PPP out and for 30 years they havnt allowed PPP in Punjab.Now they are trying to de stabilize Punjab

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