ICC condemn attack on cricketers

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The Independent Online

The head of the International Cricket Council has condemned today's attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team in Pakistan.

A dozen men attacked the Sri Lankan team with rifles, grenades and rocket launchers ahead of the resumption of play in the second test at Lahore, wounding several players and killing six police officers and civilians in a brazen attack.

"We note with dismay and regret the events of this morning in Lahore and we condemn this attack without reservation," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement. "It is a source of great sadness that there have been a number of fatalities in this attack and it is also very upsetting for the wider cricket family that some of the Sri Lanka players and one match official have been injured in this attack."

"At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the injured people and also the families of those who have died," Lorgat added.

The assailants ambushed the convoy carrying the squad and match officials at a traffic circle close to Gaddafi Stadium, triggering a 15-minute gunbattle with police guarding the vehicles.

Chamara Ranavira, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan High Commission, said two players - Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana - were being treated for injuries in hospital but were stable.

The Sri Lankan Cricket Board said Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Suranka Lakmal, captain Mahela Jayawardene and Chaminda Vaas had minor injuries.

None of the attackers were killed or captured at the scene, city police chief Haji Habibur Rehman said. Authorities did not speculate on the identities of the attackers or their motives.

Lorgat confirmed that both national cricket boards had agreed to cancel the remainder of the tour and that all the players and officials were being evacuated "as safely and as quickly as possible."

"Until the full facts of the incident are established and the players and match officials have returned home safely, the ICC will make no further comment."

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa condemned the attack and ordered his foreign minister to immediately travel to Pakistan to help assist in the team's evacuation and ensure they are safe.

It is still unclear who is responsible for the attack.