Friday, October 16, 2009

Terrorists storm Lahore; 26 reported dead

Lahore: Lahore was on Thursday morning once again attacked by terrorists when heavily armed gunmen along with some suicide bombers launched coordinated attacks at three major establishments of the security forces killing at least 24 people and injuring many others.

Officials say groups of heavily armed gunmen stormed Manawan Police Training School, Federal Investigation Agency Building and Elite Force Headquarters at Bedian Road in Lahore killing many and taking some hostages shortly after 0900 hrs Pakistan time on Thursday.

Police said that five attackers barged in the FIA building, which is involved in counter-terrorism investigations, opening fire indiscriminately.

Two gunmen held two people hostage inside the FIA building and engaged in gunbattle with police. Lahore Police Commissioner Khusro Pervez said the building was cleared off the attackers after almost two hours of gunfight.

Pervez added that seven persons, including three FIA personnel and an attacker, had been killed and three others injured in the incident. He added that one of the terrorist had a suicide jacket.

In pics: Lahore under attack
Civil Lines Superintendent of Police Haider Ismail said a suicide jacket and grenades were recovered from the spot.

"Operation is complete and search still on. We request media to stay away from building as we don't know whether terrorists have planted anything inside the building. There are five causalities. We don't know how many are terrorists and how many are employees as yet. We've recovered a suicide jacket and grenades from one of the dead bodies. At least one dead body is that of a terrorist. We are yet to identify the remaining bodies. The building has been evacuated and all employees safe," Haider Ismail said.

The police also claimed to have arrested one of the FIA attackers.

Terrorists who attacked Elite Force Headquarters and training centres at Bedian Road and Manawan lobbed several grenades and fire at with policemen and Pakistan Rangers who had surrounded the facilities.

Reports said several police recruits had been taken hostage at the Manawan centre but the facility was cleared off after a heavy exchange of fire between the terrorists and security forces.

Personnel belonging to the police, Pakistani Army and Rangers have been taken up positions around the complex to flush out the terrorists and rescue the hostages at the Elite Force training centre at Bedian Road near the airport.

Reports in a section of Pakistani media claimed that there are three women among the group of terrorists and added that several people have been taken hostage at the FIA building.

A suicide car bomber also set off his explosives outside a police station in the northwestern Pakistani town of Kohat killing 10 people, including two school children.

Terrorist organisation Tehreek-e-Taliban has claimed responsibility for the coordinated Lahore attacks.

The FIA building was attacked in March last year, too, when a suicide bomber in a car exploded a bomb killing 21 people.

This is the fifth major attack in the country in the last 15 day