Pakistani President condemns attack on cricketers

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Islamabad - Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in eastern Pakistan in the early hours of Tuesday, which killed five policemen and wounded four Sri Lankan cricketers.

The President asked the authorities concerned to immediately investigate the incident so that the perpetrators were identified and their motives exposed.

He also directed that best possible medical treatment be provided to the injured.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani termed the incident a terrorist attack and said the objective was to bring Pakistan into a negative light.

Gunmen fired at a police vehicle which was escorting the Sri Lankan cricket team near the Gaddafi Stadium. The attackers also opened fire at the bus carrying Sri Lankan players.

As a result, six players were injured and two of them sustained bullet injuries.

The Capital City Police Officer of Lahore Haji Habibur Rehman confirmed that one player was shot in the chest and one in the leg. The injured were shifted to hospital for treatment.

Haji Habibur Rehman said up to 12 terrorists were confirmed in the area and the firing started at 9am.

Police said the firing incident was unrelated to the Sri Lankan team. The encounter between policemen and terrorists continued for 30 minutes.

The area around the stadium has been cordoned off after the firing incident.

The Sri Lankan team was scheduled to begin their third-day play with the Pakistani team in their second Test Match when the attack occurred.

The Test Match has been called off after the incident. Sri Lanka will immediately pull its players out of Pakistan.

Analysts feared that the terrorist attack in Lahore would give a blow to Pakistan cricket as no foreign teams were likely to come to the country in the future.