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Old 03-03-2009, 01:25 PM
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Default Gunmen shoot Sri Lanka cricketers

This was taken from the BBC NEWS website.

Gunmen have attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team on its way to play in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

At least five Pakistani policemen escorting the team bus were killed, while at least five cricketers, and their assistant coach, were injured.

Pakistani officials said about 12 gunmen were involved and grenades and rocket launchers have been recovered.

Officials said the incident bore the hallmarks of deadly attacks in Mumbai in India last November.

The Mumbai attacks were blamed on Pakistan-based Islamic militants.

Commentators say the incident will come as a big blow to Pakistani cricket - already suffering from serious security concerns - and may put an end to international cricket in the country in the short term.

Pakistan had invited Sri Lanka to tour after India's cricket team pulled out of a scheduled cricket tour following the Mumbai attacks.

Match cancelled

The gunmen opened fire on the Sri Lankan team bus which was in the heart of Lahore on its way to the Gaddafi stadium, venue for a Test match between the two sides.

Witnesses reported an intense burst of heavy gunfire and explosions, as the gunmen first aimed for the police detail accompanying the team, before attacking the team coach.

At least five policemen were killed.

Officials in Lahore said two members of the Sri Lankan team - Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana - were sent to hospital. At least another four received minor wounds, including assistant coach Paul Farbrace.

"The players are shocked. They have never gone through anything like this before," former Sri Lankan player Sanath Jayasuriya told an Indian news channel on the phone from Colombo.

A Pakistani air force helicopter has now evacuated members of the Sri Lankan team from Gaddafi Stadium, after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse condemned the "cowardly terrorist attack" and ordered the players' immediate evacuation.

The third day of play in the Second Test was scheduled to begin, but officials said the match has now been cancelled.

TV pictures showed two gunmen with backpacks on the road where the incident happened.

According to Lahore police chief Habibur Rahman, "10 to 12" attackers came to the scene in auto rickshaws.

Grenades and rocket launchers were found at the site of the incident, police said.

Security fears

Pakistan is engaged in a bloody struggle against Islamist insurgents who have staged high-profile attacks on civilian targets before.

India and Australia have pulled out of cricket tours in Pakistan in the recent past citing security concerns.

The sport's world governing body, the International Cricket Council, last month decided not to hold the 2009 Champions Trophy in Pakistan due to safety worries.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is also waging its own military campaign at home, against Tamil Tiger separatist rebels.
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:29 PM
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This is perhaps the saddest day in the history of cricket. The future for Pakistan cricket looks bleak, but this may go beyond just Pakistan cricket. Who's not to say that now all international cricket matches will require massive amounts of security? And even more dreadful, who's not to say this could happen again, or could happen within another test playing country?
This was a horrendous, unjustified and despicable act by these fellow 'humans'. But keep in mind that this is not the fault of the Pakistani people. This is a minority who are outcasts of all society's. These are people who's nature is to despise all who show benevolence or compassion to a fellow human beings.

Please, share your thoughts.
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:06 PM
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All pictures taken from the BBC NEWS website.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:51 PM
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BigBoss BigBoss is offline
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very sad to see all this in such an beautiful country. Let's hope everything comes normal.
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Old 30-03-2009, 12:39 AM
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There goes the cricketing future of Pakistanis. What else could go wrong in a country that has been plagued with such things. These guys are so talented, but coz of some idiocy of lunatics, they younger generations might never be able to play cricket. Hope I am wrong here...
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:34 AM
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It now appears as if the vicious attack was intended more as an attack on the police rather than the travelling players. I say this because a second attack was made by the same people using the same tactics upon a police station in Pakistan.

Let us hope that these criminals will be brought to justice.

Peace ...
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