Jaish, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants behind attack on Lankan cricketers

March 6th, 2009 - 12:19 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 6 (ANI): Most of the terrorists, who attacked the Sri Lankan team bus near Lahores Gaddafi stadium, belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), the banned militant groups having close ties with al-Qaeda.

Pakistani security officials said that the gunmen who attacked Lankan cricketers have been identified and some key suspects have been arrested, including the brother of the suspected mastermind.

The Times quoted senior police officials as saying that the men behind attack on cricketers might also have links to other militants fighting in Pakistans lawless tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

However, it remained unclear till Thursday whether those arrested included the gunmen who killed eight Pakistanis security officials and injured six Sri Lankan players and one British assistant coach in Lahore.

Meanwhile, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer said that the Government had identified the attackers, but refused to give details until the investigation was completed.

Police also released sketches of four of the 12 gunmen, and Rehman Malik, the Interior Minister, said that a preliminary investigation report would be released on Friday.

Some Pakistani officials have said that the attack bore the hallmarks of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani militant group blamed for the attack on Mumbai in November.

But a senior Home Ministry official said that it appeared to be the work of al-Qaeda, which has masterminded previous attacks in Pakistan, including last years suicide bombing on the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, The Times reported.

The official said that attackers were from Punjab and North West Frontier Province, which has become the main battleground between militants and Pakistani Army.

JeM has become a virtual extension of al-Qaeda and was blamed for most of the terrorist attacks in Pakistan after the country become an ally in the US-led War on Terror in 2001. LeJ is an extremist Sunni sectarian group whose members overlap with JeM. It has also been involved in al-Qaeda-led attacks in Pakistan. (ANI)

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