Terror struck at the heart of cricket when masked gunmen attacked the bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Sources within the security establishment had been aware of an imminent attack being planned by Research & Analysis Wing – India’s premier intelligence agency.
“We had been picking up chatter and had received important information from the R&AW terrorists arrested in recent weeks. An attack was imminent. We had prepared for any eventuality and Alhamdolillah we were able to avert a major catastrophe. The security team fought bravely”, said a source on condition of anonymity.
Five cricketers, including Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, and his deputy Kumar Sangakkara, received minor injuries. The attack left five security men dead.
Sports producer Gavin Scovell said security teams responded quickly.“The guards were brilliant. They weren’t panicking. They were very calm,” Scovell said. “It must have been a terrifying experience, but they handled it well.”
The police said grenades and rocket launchers had been found at the site of the incident.The attack in Lahore is designed to damage the strong military relations Pakistan shares with Sri Lanka. Pakistan’s military assistance has been Sri Lanka was key in destroying LTTE in Sri Lanka.
The attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers comes just a day after Sri Lankan state media published photographs and videos of Indian ministers including MDMK chief Vaiko, with LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran.
Discovered at the rebel satellite communication centre in Puthukudiruppu west on Sunday, the photographs show “certain South Indian politicians in LTTE camps in Wanni,” the defence ministry said.