For us, that is all the sane, rational people of the world, regardless of nationality or divisive entities that define us, it is indeed appalling that anybody should have targeted a sporting team in such a brutal manner, it is far too shameful than words can describe.
Though it is still early to talk review the incident in detail, as the reports that have already flooded the media are sketchy & brief, as expected, it can be affirmed that around a dozen heavily armed assailants attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team's bus and a police escort as they had been driving to the Gaddafi stadium in the Pakistani city of Lahore. The attackers are believed to be holed up in the area itself, that is how the media have been briefed, as I write this very post. The terror attack is also believed to have been patterned in the same way as that of the Mumbai attack on 26th November, 2008.
Six members of the Sri Lankan cricket squad were reportedly wounded in the attack wherein the gunfire seems to have lasted for about half an hour. The unidentified gunmen, two of whom were even seen in the footage shown on television, fired AK 47s and rockets and hurled grenades as the team bus was about to reach the venue for the on-going Test Match. It must be mentioned that after the dastardly attacks on Mumbai, India had cancelled the proposed five-week series in Pakistan, having been critical of the country's role in indulging terror outfits, thereafter Sri Lanka came ahead with its offer of touring Pakistan in place of India. The head of Sri Lankan cricket, Arjuna Ranatunga had himself said that they had a duty as a friendly neighbour in the region to help Pakistan when it was needed the most.
And this is how the goodwill ambassadors were rewarded!!!!!!!!!!
India has blamed the attack on Pakistan-trained militants and the incident has sharply raised the tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. Sri Lanka has immediately cancelled the rest of the tour.
Among the Sri Lankan cricketers who have sustained injuries, Thilan Samaraweera has reportedly been the worst hit. Mahela Jayawardena has a cut in his ankle, Kumar Sangakkara has had a shrapnel cut to shoulder, Ajantha Mendis has had a shrapnel wound to his back, Tharanga Paranavithana has suffered a shrapnel wound to his chest. Paul Farbrace - the assistant coach - has suffered a shrapnel wound in his arm. Former Pakistan Test cricketer Ahsan Raza, who was the reserve umpire for the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series, was critically injured.
It is believed that the threat perception for the Sri Lankan cricket team that had already been there, was not handled effectively by the Intelligence Agencies. However, the team-bus did take a different route today, the usual practice of going through the road along the canal, was replaced by going through the Liberty market. The attack could still not be thwarted. According to reports, the gunmen were carrying weapons in sacks and were dressed like college students. It seems that the mad rampage of the terrorists will see more such lay casualties, until & unless the politics of terror that the terror outfits worldwide keep stemming from gets uprooted. May more power prevail to the voice of sanity & reason, may the lights of hope be rekindled.