Jihadi attack on Srilankan Cricketers – Five Hurt, in Jihadistan

published on March 3, 2009


Lahore attack: 6 SL cricketers injured; none critical

Source:www.zeenews.com

Lahore, March 03: Terror struck cricket on Tuesday when the Sri Lankan
cricket team, which is in Lahore to play the second Test was attacked
upon by a gang of highly trained terrorists, injuring at least six
players, though none were critically wounded.

The Sri Lankan
Sports Minister, Lokuke Gamini, has confirmed to the reporters that six
of the players were injured and taken to hospital. The injured players
are: Thilan Samaraweera, Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara,
Ajantha Mendis, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Thushara. Also, Ehsaan
Raza, the fourth umpire of the match, who was in the team bus is said
to be critical.

However, Punjab Governor, Salmaan Tahseer,
claimed that no Sri Lankan player was critically injured in the attack
and all are safe at the moment.

The news was also confirmed by Sanath Jayasuriya, who spoke to
a TV channel from Sri Lanka, said that he had spoken to Kumar
Sangakkara, who informed him that though there were few injuries,
everybody was safe.

Father
of the outgoing team skipper Mahela Jayawardene said his son had just
called his wife from Lahore to say that he too had suffered minor
injuries in his leg during the attack that had shocked the nation.

Tour Cancelled

The
Sri Lankan cricket board has cancelled the tour with immediate effect
and a confirmation came from President Rajpakse’s office that the Sri
Lankan team had indeed been called back by the government it saw no way
to continue with the tour.

Meanwhile, The International Cricket
Council (ICC) has called in an emergency meeting in Colombo to assess
the situation and take stock.

How It Happened

As
per initial reports the attack happened outside the Gaddafi stadium
when the team was passing through the Liberty roundabout. A group of
gunmen (Reportedly 12 in number), armed with automatic weapons, were
waiting there in a white car, then resorted to indiscriminate firing at
the convoy and even fired rocket launchers.

Seven policemen have lost their lives while two other are reportedly injured.

Some of the slain policemen have been identified: Zafar Khan, Mudassar, Tipu Sultan and Tanvir Ahmed.

Striking Similarities with Mumbai Attacks

The
authorities are suspecting it as a handiwork of one Pakistan’s many
active terror groups. Punjab Governor, Salmaan Tahseer, while
confirming the incident claimed that the attackers were highly trained
and bore resemblance to the Mumbai terror attacks in the way it was
executed.

In the meanwhile, the Pakistan police have released
the sketches of the assailants and it has been confirmed that they had
automatic weapons.

Incidentally, media reports claimed that the
police knew of a plan to attack the team and hence the route taken by
the convoy today was kept a secret but it seems that the terrorists had
better information.

A witness told reporters 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 witness who had been on his way to cover the Test match between
Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan only invited the Sri Lanka team
to tour after India’s team pulled out with security concerns following
the militant attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai in November.

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