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Monday, March 30, 2009

Mumbai-like Lahore attacks kill 20

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 04:05:25 GMT

Pakistani elite forces are engaging gunmen, who took control of the police training center.
An attack on a police training school near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore has left around 20 people killed and more than 50 others wounded.

The incident took place early on Monday when gunmen in police uniform broke into Manawan police training school outside Lahore and attacked recruits with hand grenades and random gunfire, Press TV correspondent reported, adding 20 people have so far lost their lives in the attack.

Following the incident, Pakistan's elite squad was called to the scene and the area was cordoned off by the police.

Chief Capital Police Officer (CCPO) Haji Habib-ur-Rahman said 10 to 12 attackers were still inside the school building and shooting was continuing.

Meanwhile, reports suggest dozens of people in the premises have been taken hostage by the assailants and the toll from the attack is on the rise.

On March 3, gunmen carried out another major assault on the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, leaving eight Pakistanis dead and seven players and a coach injured.

The attack in the second largest Pakistani city is reminiscent of Mumbai's ordeal last November, where 165 people died in a 60-hour siege of the Indian financial capital.

Critics blame the surge in terror attacks on the US policy in the region and its insistence on military measures in the crisis-hit country.

In 2001, US-led coalition forces invaded Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 9 attack on International Trade Center in New York city in a bid to oust the Taliban extremist rule in the country.

Terrorist activities and violence, however, has spread to neighboring Pakistan, where US forces keep bombarding tribal regions near the borders, allegedly providing safe havens for militants.

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