Deeply shaken but glad to be alive, the Sri Lankan cricket team have arrived home in Colombo to be reunited with their families.
The players spoke of their relief, but also described their confusion and terror when armed men ambushed their team bus as it negotiated heavy traffic near the main sports stadium in Lahore in Pakistan. Eight people, mainly Pakistani police officers, died in the attack. Six members of the team, a British coach and an umpire were wounded. On the airstrip, an ambulance was waiting to take the injured to hospital. The attack has plunged Pakistan into a state of war according to Interior Minister Rehman Malik. “The democracy of the country has been undermined,” he said. “Pakistan is under continuous aggression and the foreigners have been targeted with a view to bringing a bad name to the country. I do not overrule a foreign hand in it.” The attack is a serious blow to the region’s most popular sport. New Zealand has already cancelled the Pakistan leg of its forthcoming cricket tour. There has been no official word on those reponsible for the attack, but observers say Islamic militants are likely to be the chief suspects.