Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sri Lanka gives Pakistan clues to cricketers attack

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said the Sri Lankan president told him an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore six months ago may have been financed from Sri Lanka.

Seven Pakistanis, including six policemen and the driver of a Sri Lankan team bus, were killed when gunmen ambushed them on the way to a stadium for a match in the eastern city of Lahore in March.

Six members of the Sri Lankan team and a British coach were wounded.

Gilani said late on Sunday that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa told him during a recent visit to Libya that Colombo had found clues that "some finances had been made from Sri Lanka to Pakistan".

Gilani and Rajapaksa visited Libya last week to attend celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the Libyan revolution.

"We are sending interior ministry officials to Sri Lanka to get the clues that could help us to get to the attack on the cricket team," Gilani told reporters.

Pakistani officials suspect Taliban militants were responsible and police said in June they had arrested a suspect.

The attack -- parts of which were broadcast live by television channels with offices near the traffic circle where the gunmen ambushed the Sri Lankan team -- sent shockwaves through cricket-mad Pakistan and the rest of the cricketing world.

Relayed by international broadcasters, the chilling images compounded fears in the West over the stability of the nuclear-armed Muslim country, and reinforced doubts over its readiness to confront spreading militancy.

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