Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Watch the video: a TV station across the street caught some of the attack live
These reminders of the threat posed by radical terrorists are coming all too often.
This time, at least 12 gunmen armed with automatic rifles, hand grenades and rockerts, ambushed a group of vehicles carrying the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team to a nearby stadium in Lahore. They killed six police officers who were protecting the international visitors and two bystanders. However, the driver of the bus carrying the cricketers managed an escape through a hail of bullets, so only a few of the players suffered relatively minor injuries. Not surprisingly, they were airlifted out of the stadium by military helicopter and went home.
The attack happened in the fashionable center of Lahore, a city of seven million in the Punjab. The terrorists closed in from several sides as the caravan made its way around a traffic circle and first concentrated fire on the police escort. When they failed to get at the bus and police reinforcements were bearing down, they slipped away into the city.
The effect of this attack is to further isolate Pakistan and its people who are wildly enthusiastic cricket fans. No foreign teams will venture to come to Pakistan anytime soon. While no one has yet "claimed credit" for this horror, it's likely to be one or another of the cluster of closely related al Qaeda-Taliban groups who are now bidding for real power in Pakistan. The Daily Times of Pakistan reports that tge Governor of Punjab province said "the attack was carried out by the same people who had executed the Mumbai attacks last year," namely the al Qaeda-linked Kashmiri separatist groups, Lashkar-e Tayba or Jama’at-ud Dawa.
More on this story here and here.
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Posted by J. E. Burke at 9:36 PM