Gunmen kill 9 security personnel in Lahore

By AFP
Published: July 12, 2012

Policemen seal off an area, that was attacked by gunmen, outside a police hostel in Lahore on July 11, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: Gunmen shot dead nine Pakistani police and prison staff as they slept in Lahore on Thursday, the second attack on security forces in the country’s political heartland since Islamabad reopened a Nato supply corridor.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the dawn raid, in which police said 10 gunmen stormed a hostel housing officers being trained from the troubled northwest.

The killings, and a similar assault on an army camp on Monday, raise fears of a fresh wave of violence in Punjab, the country’s most populous province that will be vital in upcoming elections, and which for the past year had seen a lull in Taliban attacks.

IG Punjab Police Habibur Rehman said the attackers came on three motorcycles and one car, armed with Kalashnikov rifles and hand grenades.

They then stormed the building in the densely populated area of Ichra, where around 30 police and prison staff were sleeping early Thursday.

One survivor told AFP from his hospital bed that staff jumped frantically onto the roof tops of neighbouring houses to escape the hail of bullets.

“About 15 of us were sleeping on the roof and some were offering prayers when gunfire started downstairs. Some of my colleagues who went down to see what was happening were killed or wounded,” Mohammad Rizwan Shah, 23, told AFP.

He said he works in the prison in Peshawar and came to Lahore six weeks ago for a training course due to end on July 28.

“I jumped over to the house next door to save my life and fractured my arm. Others too jumped walls and into neighbouring houses,” he said.

Police said nine other people were wounded, and that the victims were shot as they slept on simple mats now soaked with blood.

Local resident, Mohammad Siddiq, 43, told AFP he saw gunmen fleeing on motorcycles and a blood-drenched body lying in the street at around 5:30am (0030 GMT).

Spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP in a telephone call that the attack was carried out because the officers being trained “are used in operations against us”.

“We want to prove that no place is beyond our reach,” he added.

Police blamed the “same gang” who killed seven security personnel at an army camp in Punjab’s district of Gujrat, 150 kilometres (100 miles) southeast of Islamabad, on Monday.

A senior security official said Monday’s attackers were “highly likely” to have belonged to a banned organisation in league with the Taliban.

Considered Pakistan’s cultural capital and close to the Indian border, Lahore is a city of eight million that in 2010 suffered a string of high-profile bombings blamed on Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants.

But since early 2011, it had been largely shielded from violence linked to the extremists based in Pakistan’s border regions with Afghanistan in the northwest.

Tensions have been high among right-wing and extremist organisations since Pakistan last week decided to reopen its Afghan border to Nato supply convoys, ending a seven-month blockade following negotiations with US officials.

The Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) has urged Pakistanis to protest against the resumption of supplies for Nato troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Just hours before Monday’s attack, thousands from the DPC passed through Gujrat on a protest march from Lahore to Islamabad.

Pakistan closed the routes in protest at US air strikes in November last year that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The air strikes plunged ties between Islamabad and the United States, already shaky after the US killing of Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison town in May 2011, to a new low.

After months of negotiations, a rapprochement was achieved when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologised for the November deaths.

Reader Comments (50)

  • Danish
    Jul 12, 2012 - 10:31AM

    Maybe these people have just ‘misunderstood’ Islam or are ‘misinterpreting’ it as our apologists keep telling the world.

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  • Ali
    Jul 12, 2012 - 10:36AM

    Rana Sana is performing the role of health minister while law & order conditions in the Pujab is at its worst.

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  • Awans
    Jul 12, 2012 - 10:36AM

    The attacks are occurring on a route where DPC protested and urged Pakistanis to protect Pakistan by Killing Security Personal and by taking revenge from your own People as a protest against America. DPC actions should be scrutinized as these killings started after their incitement and hate speeches against Pakistani Security Organizations..

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  • munnabhai
    Jul 12, 2012 - 10:43AM

    This is a plot by the CIA and RAW to destabilise Pakistan’s heartland.

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  • Enlightened
    Jul 12, 2012 - 10:47AM

    Pakistan would have to pay a heavy price in the near future for breeding snakes in its backyard.

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  • Awans
    Jul 12, 2012 - 10:48AM

    Obviously someone informed TTP about their existence here and just like Bannu Jail Break they came here with full planning and it is a case of Target killing. It seems TTP have infiltrated heavily in Security Apparatus in Pakistan and God knows how much Our Defense assets are save as now TTP intelligence is around Pakistan and everywhere. No wonder someday TTP will trigger some Atomic bomb and will say it is a revenge to Save Islam.

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  • Realist
    Jul 12, 2012 - 10:49AM

    Curse of NATO supply resumption.

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  • Aditya Randhawa
    Jul 12, 2012 - 10:50AM

    Islam jinndabad

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  • Rana
    Jul 12, 2012 - 11:01AM

    Nato supply reopening fallout! Retarded rulers, worst decision!

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  • no one
    Jul 12, 2012 - 11:02AM

    not so bad….Pak has very skillful gunmen…

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  • Basit
    Jul 12, 2012 - 11:06AM

    TTP has very good intelligence to be able to find out where police cadets from KP are living when in Punjab. This American war on terror can simply not be won.

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  • Anwar
    Jul 12, 2012 - 11:10AM

    The hoods of DPC are out in the open. They will not go back in without having their fill.

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  • Ahmed HM
    Jul 12, 2012 - 11:32AM

    I think its about time these people of TTP are hanged publicly. This TTP has nothing to do with Islam, especially when they get funds from their esteemed supporters and axpect the suffering people of Pakistan to come out on the streets and speak against the system.

    don’t know why, but I think Rehman Malik is responsible for all of this.

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  • Raza Khan
    Jul 12, 2012 - 11:44AM

    Imran Khan & you still think that Talibans are innocent & friends of Pakistan! High time that we should realize that they are enemies of Pakistan & humanity. We must eliminate them.

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  • dude
    Jul 12, 2012 - 12:00PM

    they are practicing for the real game- attacking pakistani nuclear sites.

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  • Concerned Citizen
    Jul 12, 2012 - 12:20PM

    I want to ask this supposed protectors of Islam if they had guts why don’t they go and attack the politicians who are the real decision makers of opening and closing of NATO supplies. Why do they attack citizens or policemen and soldiers who are only following orders and are not the decision makers. These people have nothing to do with Islam. Killing innocent muslims or any human beings is not following Islam.

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  • Shujaat
    Jul 12, 2012 - 12:33PM

    This is type brutality our young’s dies and security in the Punjab getting worse and situation is alarming overall in the country specially genocide of Hazaras tribe who live peacefully. It seem that near future security may worse so need extra vigilance to security staff specially during holy Ramadan ahead

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  • Uzair Rana
    Jul 12, 2012 - 12:39PM

    Our forces should defend Islam instead of America or else they will suffer defeat at the hands of ttp who are defending Islam in Pakistan.

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  • hassan khan
    Jul 12, 2012 - 12:42PM

    insiders job…..saleem shehzad was killed by our forces just for pointing out enemies within.

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  • Jat
    Jul 12, 2012 - 12:54PM

    We should remember Rehman Malik’s statement a few days back where he certified that all of TTP’s top leadership has been eliminated. The recent attacks are due to the fact that the leaderless foot soldiers of Taliban have panicked.

    The Final Victory is near.

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  • Abbas
    Jul 12, 2012 - 1:00PM

    Still wonders that people think that CIA and RAW behind this wild act, not to take the blames on muslims or Islam. TTP has no intelligence, they are using our own official intelligence. OMG!!!

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  • abc
    Jul 12, 2012 - 1:04PM

    It must be condemned in the strongest possible words. I believe the government failed to devise a strategy to tackle these issues. Some immediate and necessary measures must be taken to establish rapid response close quarter battle teams who can be deployed from air within few seconds of an emergency scenario. These people must be dealt without any clemency.

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  • unbeliever
    Jul 12, 2012 - 1:32PM

    all those who claim that TTP has nothing to do with islam….
    tell, us about one organisation, which can be taken as a prototype of real islam..
    anyone?

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  • ali gilani
    Jul 12, 2012 - 1:33PM

    @Ali:Rana Snaulla is behind these attacks as he belongs to a proxy TTP arm of functionaries.

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  • Hindustani Dildara
    Jul 12, 2012 - 1:34PM

    @Aditya: Its’ ZINDABAD! not jindabad.

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  • Imran Con
    Jul 12, 2012 - 1:34PM

    @Basit:
    Yeah. War usually does look bleak when you sit there and take it like Pakistan is doing.

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  • Hegdefunder
    Jul 12, 2012 - 1:35PM

    This has become a daily occurance in the Country, soon it will start becoming non event and be deemed as not Newsworthy !
    Has Pakistan ever manage to detect and hold any culprits responsible?
    Let alone convict them ! I suppose these are the Asstes that your Army talks about !!

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  • Aditya Randhawa
    Jul 12, 2012 - 1:49PM

    Islam has won, humanity has lost against Islam

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  • Faran
    Jul 12, 2012 - 1:51PM

    Re-opening of Nato supply is delivering now.

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  • Imran
    Jul 12, 2012 - 2:07PM

    People who are criticizing Imran Khan for no reason, should ask their military leadership why they are playing double game. Taking dollars from US and doing nothing against these organizations.

    War is a profitable business for any military, unfortunately for Pakistani military war within the country has become profitable.

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  • MA
    Jul 12, 2012 - 2:25PM

    Agreed
    I want to ask this supposed protectors of Islam if they had guts why don’t they go and attack the politicians who are the real decision makers of opening and closing of NATO supplies. Why do they attack citizens or policemen and soldiers who are only following orders and are not the decision makers. These people have nothing to do with Islam. Killing innocent muslims or any human beings is not following Islam.

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  • Muhammad Ahsan KHAN
    Jul 12, 2012 - 2:29PM

    Security men should be protected by the Army.

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  • Leopard
    Jul 12, 2012 - 2:36PM

    @Imran:
    War is a profitable business for any military, unfortunately for Pakistani military war within the country has become profitable. How true your comments are!

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  • Afghanistan
    Jul 12, 2012 - 2:56PM

    This is what we shout and cry for the last 30 years. when taliban kill afghan police and army, pakistan call them good taliban and perceive them its asset. However, when they attack pakistanis army or police, all pakistanis call them terorists and proxies of india,israel and US. I beg all pakistani to be realistic and choose a policy to bring peace to the region. I want you to look this video and decide what kind of war this is.https://www.facebook.com/payamulhaq#!/photo.php?v=134312430041565

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  • Ansari
    Jul 12, 2012 - 3:06PM

    Fall out of reopening of Nato supplies .. Its pay back time folks!

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  • S
    Jul 12, 2012 - 3:18PM

    very sad indeed!!!!

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  • Aditya Randhawa
    Jul 12, 2012 - 3:35PM

    @Hindustani Dildara:
    Thanks

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  • Nasir
    Jul 12, 2012 - 4:30PM

    @Realist: what do you want us to do ? – bow to the will of the US or bow to the will of the Mullah? – either way we are slaves

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  • MA
    Jul 12, 2012 - 4:46PM

    why cant we speak the truth? every time we do. the moderator eliminates the comments :S

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  • MA
    Jul 12, 2012 - 5:05PM

    If you write anything against Islam, ET will publish it, if you write otherwise your comments will not be published

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  • Sunder Khan Afridi
    Jul 12, 2012 - 5:09PM

    Missing persons are so honourable that the chief justice just cannot think about the killings of security personnel and the innocent civilians being killed by the terrorists. May Allah Taala guide the judiciary and the administration to do things in the best interest of the country.

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  • Zalmai
    Jul 12, 2012 - 5:47PM

    @Aditya Randhawa

    Please refrain from equating the great religion of Islam with illiterate terrorists and their un-Islamic activities. I am sure you would not like anyone degrading your religion or using Bal Thakeray’s activities as a representation of your religion.

    @Afghanistan

    Ditto! I am saddened by the horrific events taking place in Pakistan on a daily basis but its been a long time coming, a direct result of breeding terrorists.

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  • Jul 12, 2012 - 8:17PM

    Whether people are killed in AFG or PAK at the end of the day families, relatives and friends feel the pain. The likes of policy makers do not care at all. I must also that people who created the policy of strategic depth were idiots and those who still follow live in an imaginery world. Afghanistan is a country and it can not become pakistan 5th province and nor it can provide any sort of strategic depth to pakistan. Afghanistan as a country has signed strategic partnership agreements with USA, UK EU, India, China, Germany, France, Australia and Canada. Do people who think that AFG will provide pakistan strategic depth in the future forget it and wake up.

    The only this jihadi mantra will disappear from the region if pakistan as a state acknowledges that it should live peacefully with its self and its neighbours, otherwise the tide wil be turned against itself.

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  • Rajendra Rana
    Jul 12, 2012 - 8:52PM

    @Zalmai:
    Great things come with great responsibilities.A religion is known by activities of its followers.And I don’t agree with your argument of “illiterate terrorists” as many highly educated have also become terrorists and suicide bombers

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  • Jul 12, 2012 - 9:25PM

    Yesterday’s attack was in Karachi and today it is Lahore. The terrorists are becoming more and more blatant every day. We understand it must be tough for the Pakistani security forces to fend off these daily attacks. Our condolences go out to the families of the nine young police officers who lost their lives in this cowardly attack boldly claimed by the TTP. It is sad to see Pakistanis dying every day at the hands of these barbarians, and yet some people do not hesitate to hold us responsible. We condemn any and all terrorist attacks that happen in any part of the world. We would like to see an end to all terrorist groups in the region, and the only way this can happen is when we all work together to eliminate them. Pakistan is an important part of the region and it is in everyone’s interest to see a stable and strong Pakistan. We must work together so the people of the region can once again enjoy peace and the prosperity that comes with it.

    Capt. Joseph Kreidel
    DET-United States Central Command
    http://www.centcom.mil/ur

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  • gp65
    Jul 12, 2012 - 9:52PM

    @Uzair Rana: “Our forces should defend Islam instead of America or else they will suffer defeat at the hands of ttp who are defending Islam in Pakistan.”
    How did you come to the conclusion that TTP is defending Islam

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  • Zalmai
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:01AM

    @Rajendra Rana

    “A religion is known by activities of its followers”.

    These people that are using Islam to promote specific political agendas are a lunatic fringe, a minority among the billion or so Muslims of the world.

    The highly educated terrorists you speak of are Arabs not Afghans. An educated Afghan will not blow himself up for his religion or advance the geopolitical and strategic interests of foreigners by becoming suicide bombers.

    It is easy for Hindus to paint us with a broad stroke of your brush because you have been at the receiving end of terrorism for a thousand years now. I understand the Hindu position, nevertheless not all adherents of Islam follow this current trajectory
    There is a fine distinction, but you may not see that because of your pre-conceived prejudices and biases. I will leave you with a quote from Ayesha Jalal.

    “Modern media thrives on the clatter and dissonance created by cries of so-called holy war; Islam as peace, harmony, and equilibrium just does not make headline news”.Recommend

  • Basit
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:34AM

    @Imran Con:
    How good does the war look for your Americans? Tell us more.

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  • Sunder Khan Afridi
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:00AM

    @US CENTCOM:
    Thanks a lot for your condolences. Pakistanis blame US for this curse of terrorism because we did not have this problem in our country till the time Afghanistan was invaded by US. During President Bush’s era,Pakistan Government had entered into peace agreement with the Pakistani Taliban and also advised the US to hold negotiations with Taliban but our advice was rejected. US kept on acting on Indian advice of not holding talks with the Taliban .Today after wasting enormous time,money and human blood the US is back to square1. India does not share borders with Afghanistan and as such had no stakes but US made sure that India is provided all the support and opportunities to get an over sized foot hold in Afghanistan, knowing fully well that India’s presence will multiply Pakistan’s security problems. For the sake of US we had abandoned an extremely friendly Government of Taliban and provided our air bases,logistic supply routes, shared very valuable intelligence and captured and handed over more than 500 Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders including Afghan Ambassador in Pakistan and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad the master mind of 9/11. In return what we got was an anti Pakistan set up in Kabul, Indian and Afghan sponsored insurgency in our province of Baluchistan and KPK. We took action in Swat and the Taliban who were driven out of Swat were accommodated in Afghanistan, were provided with funds, safe heavens, weapons and training. The result is that today they are attacking from across the border and are killing the people of Pakistan. Pakistan is fighting similar war which US is fighting in Afghanistan but compared to the US forces Pakistani troops are quite poorly equipped. US has been pushing Pakistan to do more but has never made any effort to improve Pakistan Army’s technological military capability. US has entered into an agreement with India on Nuclear Technology where as Pakistan which is otherwise declared by US as strategic partner and a major non NATO ally got nothing. Pakistan’s economy has suffered unimaginable losses due to US war on terror for which Pakistan deserved to be compensated. US has also saved billions of dollars by using Pakistan’s supply routes and other facilities. On the other hand whatever little aid was given to Pakistan by US, it was given with humiliating strings and every third day taunts were hurled with reminders about the cuts in aid which amounted to rubbing salt in our wounds. We thought Americans our friend and we have to cooperate with US with utmost sincerity. For this reason alone we opened our doors and issued thousands of visas to US citizens to enter into Pakistan. Our trust was misused by US and a network of CIA operatives was deployed in every nook and corner of country. This drama continued till Raymond Davis killed two innocent Pakistanis and was apprehended by Lahore Police. During all these years US has been bullying Pakistan, using arm twisting tactics and violating Pakistan’s sovereignty with no regret. I think in this US war on terror Pakistanis have already done more than enough. US demands have no end. By the time you meet one demand the US is ready with another. Time has come when the have started thinking that enough is enough. I hope this provides some answer to your question that Pakistanis still blame US for their woos.

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  • bilal
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:19AM

    is our government capable enough to satisfy or negotiate with the T leaders. we need leaders who can help the disturbed minds.

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