Gunmen attack Sri Lankan cricket team

10:01, 03 March 2009
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The injured were...

At least seven security people were killed and at least eight members of the Sri Lankan cricket team were wounded Tuesday in a well-coordinated attack in Lahore, Pakistan, officials said, according to CNN.

 The team bus was attacked as it approached Gaddafi Stadium for a match against Pakistan, officials said.

The injured were thought to include six players, two coaches or trainers, and an unknown number of security people.

Police thought at least 12 people opened fire on the team bus.

One of the injured players, Tharanga Paranavitana, suffered a superficial injury, according to Khusro Pervez Khan, commissioner of Lahore. A second player, Thilan Samaraweera, sustained a hip wound.

"I am saying vociferously that the Sri Lankan team is completely safe," Khan said. "Four others were hurt by glass shrapnels."

"This is a very well-planned attack," said security official Nadeem Sayed, adding that some of the players were in serious condition. "The team is very much scared."

"I heard two loud explosions outside the stadium and a lot of AK-47 fire," said Hamish Roberts, a camera operator who was inside the stadium when the attack occurred. "It was pandemonium for a while."

 Sports producer Gavin Scovell said security teams responded quickly.

"The guards were brilliant. They weren`t panicking. They were very calm," Scovell said. "It must have been a terrifying experience, but they handled it well."

Many teams -- most recently the Australia and India national teams -- won`t travel to Pakistan for cricket matches because of security concerns.

The Pakistani government has struggled to control terrorism. The Taliban and other insurgents have carved havens in Pakistan`s North West Frontier Province.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, 54, was heading the opposition in December 2007 against then-President Pervez Musharraf when she was assassinated during a campaign rally in Rawalpindi ahead of parliamentary elections.

 The Pakistani government and CIA officials said Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, was responsible for her death.

India has long blamed Pakistan for being a haven for extremists who have launched attacks in India, including an attack on India`s parliament in 2002 and the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

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