Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gunmen storm Pakistan police academy

At least 20 people were killed Monday after gunmen stormed a Pakistan police training school near the eastern city of Lahore, police officials told AFP.Paramilitary soldiers, armed and wearing flak jackets and helmets, opened fire and fanned out around the perimeter of the site, which was surrounded by scores of police cars and armoured vehicles, an AFP reporter said.Television footage showed bodies of policemen lying face down on the parade ground as heavy gunfire rattled out of the training ground at Manawan outside Pakistan's cultural capital Lahore.

Other police officials said the number of casualties may be higher given the heavy crossfire between the attackers holed up at the training centre and paramilitary troops who fanned around the perimeter of the ground.Police officials declined to say how many people had been killed or wounded but state television reported at least four dead."Unknown gunmen have attacked the police training school, we have called in elite forces," senior police official Mumtaz Sukhera told reporters.

The attack came weeks after another attackers armed with guns and grenades mounted a coordinated assault on Sri Lanka's touring cricket team on March 3, killing eight people and wounding seven members of the squad.Officials said that assault bore the hallmarks of the November 2008 attack on the Indian financial capital of Mumbai, which was blamed on Pakistan-based Islamic militants and killed 165 people.Much of the unrest has been concentrated in northwest Pakistan, where the army has been bogged down fighting Taliban militants and Al-Qaeda extremists.

Last month Zardari's government suspended Punjab's provincial assembly and administration, imposing central rule after a court ruling disqualifying its chief minister Shahbaz Sharif -- brother of Pakistan's opposition leader Nawaz Sharif.Extremists opposed to the Pakistan government's decision to side with the United States in its "war on terror" have carried out a series of bombings and other attacks that have killed nearly 1,700 people in less than two years.

No comments:

Post a Comment