Attack on Lankans:10 suspects arrested

Lahore, Wednesday 4 March 2009: At least 10 suspects were arrested in Lahore on Wednesday in connection with the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in the city on Tuesday, TV reports say.

The arrests were made from the Model Town locality of the city.

According to sources, four of these suspects are Afghan nationals. It also quoted Pakistan interior minister as saying, “We will make sure these terrorists are punished.”

The identity of the others arrested has not been revealed, but sources say that they are only suspects and that they may not be directly linked to the attack.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistan offered a reward of 125,000 dollars for information about the militants behind a deadly ambush directed against Sri Lanka’s cricket team.

“The government of Punjab will give a cash prize of 10 million rupees (125,000 dollars) to anyone providing authentic information about the accused persons or their accomplices,” said the Punjab government in an advertisement.

“Assist us in identifying the terrorists who fired at the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore,” said the advertisement carried in the national press, according to AP.

The news report says the advertisement carries four photo grabs taken from CCTV footage, declaring that “the dignity of the country has been hurt” by the firing on the Sri Lankan national squad.

The government said the identities of the people providing information would be kept confidential.

Pakistani forces were scouring the cosmopolitan eastern city for a second day — searching for up to 12 attackers behind the brazen assault that left eight dead and wounded eight of the touring party.

The militants, who appeared young and well-trained, attacked the Sri Lankan convoy with rockets, grenades and automatic weapons on Tuesday, and then traded fire with security forces before fleeing in stolen cars.

Six Pakistani policemen guarding the team and two civilians were killed. Pakistani officials said five people were being interrogated.