They were just firing everywhere: Lahore eyewitness

March 3rd, 2009 - 7:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Lahore, March 3 (IANS) “They were just firing everywhere,” an eyewitness said Tuesday of the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus that killed eight people, including six Pakistani policemen, and injured six players and their assistant coach.
Qasim, a resident of Lahore, told he heard the first blast at 8:30 a.m, while he was in his office that was located near the attack site.

A grenade was thrown at the bus landed about 20 feet away. A second grenade was also hurled under the bus but the driver adroitly managed to manoeuvre the vehicle to safety.

Thereafter, three to four men started opened fire on the bus, killing six police bodyguards.

Describing what he witnessed from the roof of his office building, Qasim said he saw the attackers running towards a roundabout in the market. People scrambled out of their cars and rushed to find places to hide, Qasim said.

He also pointed out that police officials did not arrive at the scene until 9.15 a.m. They rushed to the roundabout and cordoned off the area, while ambulances started shifting the injured and the dead to the hospitals.

Edhi ambulances were the first to arrive at the scene but high-ranking police officials did not arrive until at least an hour after the incident, Qasim said, adding the area was sealed off and the police fanned out to collect evidence.

On their part, the Sri Lankan players were all praise for their bus driver Mehar Mohammad Khalil for manoeuvering the bus to safety after being targeted by grenades.

“The Sri Lankan cricketers were praising their driver for his bravery,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ijaz Butt said.

“They wanted to thank him before heading back home and the meeting was arranged,” Butt added.

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