[Assam] Guns Silence Bats

Ram Sarangapani assamrs at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 06:52:00 PST 2009

This is sad indeed. And these terrorists have made sure the label 'Pakistan
is a failed state' sticks, and stcks well.


On Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 8:18 AM, Dilip and Dil Deka <dilipdeka at yahoo.com>wrote:

> I ran into this news this morning. Was the Lanka team chosen as target at
> random or was it an attempt to gain international attention? Whatever it is,
> it is sad that sports has again fallen victim to terrorism. It all started
> with Munich olympics and remained quiet for a while.
> Sports and cultural exchanges are supposed to bring people together.
> Dilip Deka
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Firing in Lahore, Sri Lanka cricket team members injured
> 3 Mar 2009, 1346 hrs IST, AFP
>  Print   Email   Discuss  Share  Save  Comment Text:
> LAHORE, Pakistan: Masked gunmen launched a brazen attack on the Sri Lankan
> cricket team in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Tuesday, killing at
> Pakistani policemen gather beside the wreckage of a police van after masked
> gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. (AFP Photo)
> More Pictures least eight people and wounding seven cricketers, police
> said. ( Watch )
> Gunmen attacked the team's convoy near the Gaddafi stadium with rockets,
> hand grenades and automatic weapons, triggering a 25-minute gunbattle with
> security forces, said Lahore police chief Habib-ur Rehman.
> "They appeared to be well-trained terrorists," said Rehman, who gave no
> details about the fate of the estimated 12 gunmen.
> Witnesses said the upmarket district Lahore's Liberty Square, home to many
> designer boutiques, was turned into a battlefield as gunmen hidden behind
> trees opened fire.
> "There was a blast first, then we heard firing. A rocket launcher was also
> fired at the bus which narrowly missed," a Sri Lankan player said on
> condition of anonymity.
> Australian freelance cameraman Tony Bennett said people inside the stadium
> heard explosions followed by bursts of machine gun fire.
> "Next thing we knew, the Sri Lankan team bus rolls up being sprayed by
> bullets. Players were getting carried into the dressing room."
> Sri Lanka said it would rush its foreign minister to Pakistan after the
> shooting, which Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse condemned as a
> "cowardly terrorist attack" against the country's "ambassadors of goodwill."
> Security experts defused two car bombs and recovered a stash of weapons
> including grenades, three kilograms (6.6 pounds) of explosives, a pistol and
> a detonating cable after the ambush.
> A police official said that two civilians and six police officers who were
> guarding the players were killed in the attack, which happened as the team
> was heading for the third day's play in the second Test against Pakistan.
> Television footage showed several gunmen creeping through trees, crouching
> to aim their weapons and then running onto the next target.
> Broken glass littered the road next to a gun cartridge and an empty
> rocket-propelled grenade launcher. A police motorbike was shown crashed
> sideways near to the scene of the attack.
> Bullet holes ripped through the windscreen of another vehicle and a white
> car was shown smashed headlong as nervous security officers guarded the
> site.
> There was no immediate claim of responsibility but fears of attacks by
> terrorists linked to al-Qaida have caused many cricket teams to cancel tours
> to Pakistan in recent years.
> Pakistani officials said the attack bore all the hallmarks of the November
> 2008 assault on Mumbai which was blamed on Pakistan-based terror groups.
> India's immediate reaction was to say Pakistan needed to dismantle its
> "infrastructure of terrorism."
> Sri Lankan officials said eight members of the touring party -- seven
> players and a coach -- were wounded and that the team was immediately ending
> its tour of Pakistan.
> Assistant coach Paul Farbrace, a Briton, and star batsman Thilan
> Samaraweera were kept in hospital although their injuries were not believed
> to be life-threatening, said Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge.
> Captain Mahela Jayawardene, vice captain Kumar Sangakkara, Tharanga
> Paranavithana, Thilina Thushara and Ajantha Mendis suffered only minor
> injuries, he said.
> Samaraweera is one of Sri Lanka's leading players and earlier this week
> became only the seventh batsmen in Test cricket to notch a double hundred in
> consecutive matches.
> The attack sent shockwaves through the world of cricket and raised doubts
> about the 2011 World Cup which is due to take place in Pakistan, India, Sri
> Lanka and Bangladesh.
> "What has happened is very shocking indeed," said N Srinivasan, secretary
> of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
> "We have been saying that there was a lack of security and safety in
> Pakistan. But this is not the time to give statements on that. At the moment
> our concerns are only for the Sri Lankan players," he said.
> The attack cast yet another cloud over cricket in Pakistan.
> Australia earlier this month forced Pakistan to change the venue of a
> one-day series to the neutral venues of Dubai and Abu Dhabi when the two
> sides meet in April-May this over security fears.
> India also refused to send its team across the border amid heightened
> tensions in the wake of the Mumbai attacks and a spate of bombings in
> Pakistan over the past year.
> Last month, security concerns raised by other teams forced the ICC to move
> the 2009 Champions Trophy out of Pakistan..
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