Sri Lanka’s national cricket side were in the midst of the first test series‘ to be played in Pakistan in 14 months. Following the tragic events of Tuesday, it appears this could be the last such contest to be held in the country for some time. From the BBC :
Gunmen have attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team on its way to play in the Pakistani city of Lahore.
At least five Pakistani policemen escorting the team bus were killed, while at least five cricketers, and their assistant coach, were injured.
Pakistani officials said about 12 gunmen were involved and grenades and rocket launchers have been recovered.
Officials said the incident bore the hallmarks of deadly attacks in Mumbai in India last November.
The Mumbai attacks were blamed on Pakistan-based Islamic militants.
The BBC’s Barbara Plett says the incident will come as a big blow to Pakistani cricket – already suffering from serious security concerns – and may put an end to international cricket in the country in the short term.
Our Islamabad correspondent says accounts suggest the attack was sophisticated in nature, with one group of gunmen firing a rocket-propelled grenade in order to create a diversion, while others then approached, firing guns on the convoy.
She says the gunmen – two of which were shown in TV pictures carrying backpacks – seemed to be well-trained.
Officials in Lahore said two members of the Sri Lankan team – Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana – were sent to hospital. At least another four received minor wounds, including assistant coach Paul Farbrace.