LAHORE, Pakistan, (Reuters) – Pakistani police were searching yesterday for a breakthrough in their investigation nearly 48 hours after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team and then melted away.
The ambush on the team and its police escorts as they drove to the main stadium in Lahore has shocked the cricket-mad country and raised new fears about nuclear-armed Pakistan’s ability to overcome the militant threat.
Seven Pakistanis, six policemen and the driver of a bus carrying match officials, were killed in Tuesday’s attack.
Faced with angry finger-pointing over the failure of the police to protect the team, a senior top Lahore official said investigators had warned the authorities of just such an attack.
Police, desperate for leads, have rounded up scores of people without establishing any link, according to officials. One investigator told Reuters they had found a cellphone that had led to the arrest of at least one real suspect.
“We’ve made some arrests, one through a SIM card, but there has been no major catch,” city police chief Habib-ur Rehman told said late yesterday, referring to a device that holds information in a mobile phone.
Six Sri Lankan players were wounded along with two team officials, including a British assistant coach. They flew back to Colombo along with the rest of their party later on Tuesday.
ICC match referee Chris Broad told a news conference in London yesterday he and other match officials had been left like “sitting ducks” when the attack began.