Friday, March 6, 2009
A top Pakistan official Friday refused to rule out foreign involvement in the Sri Lankan cricket attacks despite international warnings that the nation faced serious internal dangers.
The attack has subjected nuclear-armed Pakistan, teetering on political and economic crisis, to mounting international concern about its ability to combat Taliban- and Al-Qaeda-linked militants and provide security to foreigners.
“I cannot rule out (involvement of a) foreign hand in the incident,” interior ministry chief Rehman Malik told reporters, asked if Sri Lanka‘s separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam could be linked to the attacks.
Local newspapers suggested that preliminary investigations pointed to the involvement of home-grown militant outfits in Tuesday’s assaults, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which India blamed for the Mumbai attacks.
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An LeT spokesman denied any involvement in the attack, which killed eight Pakistanis and wounded seven Sri Lankan players, in a telephone call to AFP. It is a hallmark of the group not to claim responsibility for any attacks.
Up to 12 men attacked the convoy of officials, coaches and players, firing automatic weapons, grenades and a rocket launcher as the vehicles approached Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium. All fled without trace after the attack.
This article was posted: Friday, March 6, 2009 at 1:03 pm