Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Five children among seven killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Police search for gunmen who attacked cricketers

Video by Pauline GODART

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-03-03

Six police and two security personnel were killed in an attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team on Tuesday in Lahore. Police are searching for up to 12 gunmen who "appeared to be well-trained terrorists", according to the city's police chief.

Police in Pakistan are searching for up to 12 gunmen who ambushed vehicles carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team to a match in Lahore.

The attackers are believed to be holed up in a commercial complex in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city.

The masked gunmen opened fire on the Sri Lankan team's bus and security convoy with assault rifles, grenades and rocket launchers, killing eight people and wounding at least six team members.

Police sources said the dead included two civilians and six police officers who were part of the players’ security detail.

A 25-minute gun battle with security forces followed the attack, which targeted the team as it arrived for the third day of its second test match against Pakistan.

While the identities of the masked gunmen remain unknown, Lahore police chief Habib-ur Rehman told AFP, "They appeared to be well-trained terrorists."


Weapons like those sold in tribal north-west

Matthieu Mabin, a FRANCE 24 correspondent in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, said some of the weapons the attackers left behind are commonly sold in the markets of Peshawar, in Pakistan’s north-west near the Afghan border. Mabin said one hypothesis could be that the attackers came from the tribal zones near the border.

FRANCE 24’s Stephan Kloss, also in Islamabad, said the decision to target this game in particular was to "embarrass the authorities" and the Pakistani government.

President Asif Ali Zardari imposed two months of governor’s rule — direct rule by his representative — in Punjab province, which includes Lahore, on February 25 after a Supreme Court decision barred members of the opposition from taking office.

Under the current political circumstances, Zardari and the provincial governor are "directly responsible for security", Kloss said.

Ashiq Hussain Qureshi, France’s honorary consul in Lahore, told FRANCE 24 that the attack was a blow to Pakistani cricket, which has often suffered because of security concerns. The national team of India cancelled their 2009 tour in Pakistan after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008.


Security forces not "well prepared"

The Sri Lankan team had chosen to ignore the potential security threat.

"After a long time and a lot of convincing, the Sri Lankans were very kind to come to Pakistan and support us, support the cause of Pakistani cricket, which has been hit very badly because of the terrorist threat," said Qureshi.

Qureshi said the security forces protecting the Sri Lankan visitors should have been better prepared.

"There was fighting going on for half an hour," Qureshi told FRANCE 24. "And yet, nobody was captured." The security forces are "not as well prepared as they ought to be", he said.

Date created : 2009-03-03

COMMENT(S)