There were security lapses, admits Lahore official

March 5th, 2009 - 3:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Lahore, March 5 (IANS) “There are certain security lapses which are very vivid and very clear,” said a top official in Lahore where an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team left six policemen dead and six players injured, a media report said Thursday.
The Commissioner of Lahore, Khusro Pervez, admitted to “a huge security failure” which led to the attack on the Sri Lankan team in the city’s heart Tuesday, Dawn reported.

“The gunmen were meant to be combated by backup police support, which didn’t arrive,” Dawn quoted Pervez as saying.

“All convoys are provided outer cordons, but in this case the outer cordon did not respond, or it was not enough. The vehicles used for escorting the Sri Lankan convoy were not adequate.

“The top priority of the police escorts with the Sri Lankan team was to protect them and transport them to a safe location, not to combat the gunmen,” he said.

He observed that “Lahore is very difficult to put under curfew; so instead we decided to chase the assailants using information on their escape routes.”

Six Pakistani policemen were killed and six Sri Lankan cricketers injured Tuesday when gunmen armed with automatic weapons attacked the visiting team’s convoy as it headed for Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium. A military helicopter later evacuated the cricketers as Sri Lanka cancelled its Pakistan tour.

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