Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sri Lanka: Cricketers safe after shootout in Pakistan - Governor links attack with Mumbai terror attack

Source: Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law & Order - Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

6 Sri Lankan cricketers were reported injured including skipper Mahaela Jayawardene, wicketkeeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara and Tilan Samaraweer in a shootout at Lahore in Pakistan this morning (March 3).

According to Pakistan news sources, the visiting Sri Lankan cricketers were on their way to the Gaddafi international stadium minutes before commence of the 3rd day's play of the second test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Reports received confirm that seamer Chaminda Vaas, open batsman Tharanga Paranawithana, spin sensation Ajantha Mendis also among the injured including 4th umpire Ashan Raza.

Latest information from Lahore confirms that the Sri Lankan players are now out of danger and had received minor injuries.

At least 5 Pakistan policemen providing security to the Sri Lankan players were reported killed who had valiantly fought with the unidentified gunmen.

According to available information, 4 unidentified gunmen who had arrived in a white car had opened indiscriminate small arms and RPG grenade attacks at the bus and the escort vehicles that was transferring the Sri Lankan cricketers to the stadium. Tension prevails in the area with Pakistan security forces and Police engaged in hot-pursuit of the gunmen.

Meanwhile, the Punjab provincial governor making an initial comment to media has said that the attack bears hall marks of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack on 2008.

Additional info: The Sydney Morning Herald reports, "Six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed when 12 masked gunmen on rickshaws attacked with guns, grenades and rockets.

The team bus came under fire as the players headed to the stadium for the third day of the second Test against Pakistan.

Thilan Samaraweera was one of those hurt along with Tharanga Paranavitana. Both are in hospital. Samaraweera has a bullet wound to his thigh. Paranavitana has a gash to his chest from shrapnel.

Those wounded with minor shrapnel injuries were skipper Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Chaminda Vaas and Ajantha Mendis."
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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