News

    Gunmen Ambush Sri Lanka Cricket Team in Pakistan

    Pakistani officials say at least six people are dead after 12 gunmen attacked the police-escorted convoy transporting the Sri Lankan cricket team. Officials report five police officers and one driver were killed and six players and their British assistant coach were wounded. Despite a city-wide search, none of the attackers has been reported killed or captured. 

    Witnesses of the brazen mid-morning attack said gunmen targeted the convoy when it was about 100 meters from Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium - Pakistan's premier cricket venue.  The convoy included several vehicles carrying police and commandoes. 

    Pakistani umpire Nadeem Ghori was in a vehicle traveling behind the team bus when gunfire broke out.

    He says when the explosions and firing started, one bullet hit the driver and killed him instantly.  He said the rest of us just laid down on the floor. 

    One vehicle ahead, the driver of the Sri Lankan team bus, Mehar Mohammed Khalil, said gunmen fired on the three lead police cars before targeting his vehicle. 

    He says the police cars swerved away and then a man with a rocket launcher fired on the bus.  The rocket missed, then he says a second man threw a grenade, which also went past its target.  He says a man driving in a nearby car then got out and shot at the front of the bus.  Khalil says he continued driving toward the stadium, where police reinforcements were beginning to launch a counterattack.

    Witnesses said fighting lasted for 30 minutes, before the attackers fled.  A Pakistani television network filmed three of the gunmen while the assault was underway.  The footage showed unmasked men, carrying automatic weapons and backpacks. 

    In Colombo, Sri Lankan officials denounced the incident as a "cowardly terrorist attack," but refrained from blaming Pakistani authorities for having lax security.  The foreign secretary said little could have been done to stop such an attack. 

    Some of the Sri Lankan players were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.  Others waited at the cricket stadium, until a Pakistani military helicopter landed on the pitch to fly them to the Lahore airport.

    Sri Lankan officials say they are bringing the entire team home as soon as possible.  The Punjab governor said the attack resembled last November's terrorist attack in Mumbai, which India maintains was planned and carried out by Pakistanis.  There was some speculation the attack could have links to Sri Lanka's civil war, but analysts said it appeared unlikely.

    Pakistan's foreign ministry said the perpetrators were enemies of Pakistan's "close, cordial and mutually supportive relationship" with Sri Lanka. 

    The attack drew widespread media attention throughout South Asia, where cricket is a national sport.

    The Sri Lankan team was standing in for India, which had withdrawn after the Mumbai attacks.  International cricket teams have been reluctant to come to Pakistan because of concerns over security - last year, Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies cancelled matches in Pakistan because of security concerns.

    Indian officials responded to the attack by saying it unfortunately confirmed their fears the Indian team would not have been safe playing in Pakistan. 

    An Australian cameraman who was in Lahore to film the match told Pakistani reporters the entire ordeal has damaged Pakistani cricket.

    "I think it is a great pity.  I mean, Pakistan has been without cricket for 14 months.  We have been looked after very well, we have felt very safe," he said.  "It is so unfortunate for the future of Pakistan cricket because no teams are going to come here for a long time now.  It is such a shame."

    Cricket watchers said it is unlikely Pakistan will participate in jointly holding the 2011 Cricket World Cup - the sport's biggest championship.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora