Police 'failed Sri Lanka team' during terrorist attack

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The Independent Online

Senior Pakistan police officers have been heavily criticised in a report for being ill-prepared, poorly equipped and incompetent in their efforts to prevent a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team bus last year.

Calling one officer a lazy coward, Shabbar Raza Rizvi of Lahore High Court identified more than a dozen senior policemen in a report on the attack that is due to be submitted to the International Cricket Council.

Rizvi wrote that police officials failed to perform their duties on 3 March when gunmen killed six policemen and a van driver in the team convoy, and injured several Sri Lanka players and team officials.

Senior Lahore police officer Haji Habibur Rehman was supposed to be the overall commander of the team's security, but Rizvi said he failed to do his job. "I wish I had seen him marching on the road ... or at least sitting in his office before 8am," Rizvi wrote. "Unfortunately, he only became visible after the occurrence took place."

The Pakistan Cricket Board is still waiting for permission from the government to submit the report to the ICC, despite reminders by the game's governing body. A spokesman for the ICC confirmed it had not received the report and had no further comment.

The ICC carried out its own investigation following the attack. It recommended a series of security measures to be implemented by member countries, including requiring cricket boards to have security managers and establish security standards.