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Lahore attack: Report blames cops

Press Trust Of India
Mar 20, 2009 at 05:30pm IST

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Karachi: The preliminary report by the government investigators into the attack on the Sri Lankan cricketer in Lahore has blamed senior police and security officials for the March 3 incident.

According to Geo television channel, the preliminary investigation report had been sent to the Interior Ministry for further action.

After the attack in which six Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach were also wounded, several agencies were given the responsibility of probing into the attack that has cast serious doubts over the future of international cricket in Pakistan.

PAYING TRIBUTE: A Pakistani man places flowers at the spot of March 3 attack in Lahore.

The channel claimed that in the report investigators had said the attack took place because senior police officials posted for VVIP duty with the Sri Lankan team didn't fulfil their responsibilities properly.

The report said that these senior police officers neglected their duties which led to the attack despite Sri Lankans being assured state level security for the tour.

In the report, investigators have also said that around 10 to 12 gunmen were involved in carrying out the deadly attack near the Liberty roundabout just 500 metres from the Gaddafi stadium where the Test was being played.

The investigators noted that due to slackness of the police officers posted on VVIP duty none of the attackers could be arrested. They said five persons, said to be accomplices of the gunmen, had been arrested and were being questioned.

The families of the six security officials along with the bus driver who were martyred in the attack will be awarded Rs 5,00,000 each and the officials who were wounded will be given promotion.

The report has said the possibility of a foreign hand in the attack cannot be ruled out.

Interestingly the Pakistan Cricket Board has lodged a protest with the International Cricket Council (ICC) against match referee Chris Broad who alleged police officials had abandoned the match officials during the attack.

Broad had also said that proper security was not provided to the Sri Lankan team and match officials which allowed the incident to take place.

Pakistan's sports minister Pir Aftab Shah Jillani has also told a foreign newspaper that they were clear lapses in the provision of security cover for the visiting players and officials and that the government would looking into this.

Defence Minister of Pakistan Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar told CNN-IBN that they have ruled out Indian involvement in the attack on the Sri Lankan team.

"We have ruled out Indian involvement in the Sri Lankan vricket team attack case. It was lapse on the part of security agencies, as they have not done the homework properly. We have some intelligence input about the attack but the security agency did not take it seriously. We are ready to cooperate with India on 26/11 probe. Soon FIA is likely to visit Mumbai for investigations on 26/11 case," said Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar.

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