Gunmen kill 9 security personnel in Lahore

TTP claims responsibility for attack in which 10 gunmen stormed a hostel housing officers being trained from K-P.


Afp July 12, 2012

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.

COMMENTS (50)

bilal | 9 years ago | Reply

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

Sunder Khan Afridi | 9 years ago | Reply

@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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