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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2524

Lahore police claims arresting accused of attack on Sri Lankan team

[caption id="attachment_640" align="alignright" width="467" caption="Tribute to the killed Pakistani officers"]Tribute to the killed Pakistani officers[/caption]

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Lahore, 18 June, ( Police said on Wednesday they had arrested a militant they suspect was behind an attack on Sri Lanka's cricket team in Lahore in March. "We have broken up a Punjabi Taliban network and we have arrested an attacker who shot dead a policeman," Lahore police chief Pervez Rathor told reporters.

Rathor identified the suspect as Zubair, also known by his alias Nek Mohammad, who appeared at the televised press conference in Lahore with his face completely covered in a black mask.

"We came to Lahore two days before the attack," Zubair shouted through his mask, adding that they had lodged in a small house on the outskirts of Lahore.

Naik Muhammad, alias Zubair is described as the mastermind behind the gruesome attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March which led to abandonment of all international cricket in Pakistan, including the 2011 World Cup.

The terrorists are described as being members of the Punjab group of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and may have been trained directly by terrorist kingpin Baithullah Mehsud.

The police chief said the arrested disclosed during interrogation that Punjabi Tehreek-e-Taliban was behind the Liberty Chowk attack in Lahore and that it is headed by a man named Farooq.

All of seven people accused in the attack belong to a previously unknown group named as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Punjab network.

Rathor said the other six men -- one of whom he accused of being involved in a rocket attack on former president Pervez Musharraf in 2007 -- might have fled to the lawless tribal region of Waziristan on the Afghan border.

The other accused are Rana Hanif, Smaiullah alias Aijaz, Adnan alias Sajjad and Umer alias Abdul Wahab.

According to Rathore, the initial intent of the attackers was to take the cricketers hostage, but that they obviously failed to do so.

On March 3, the Sri Lankan cricket squad was being taken by bus to the ground in Lahore for the third day of the second Test against Pakistan when up to 12 men attacked the convoy of officials, coaches and players, firing automatic weapons, grenades and a rocket launcher as the convoy was nearing the Gaddafi stadium.

Seven people including six police guards and the driver of a Sri Lankan team bus were killed in the attack.

- Asian Tribune -

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