An all-out gun battle at a Pakistani police academy has ended with at least 20 people dead.
The army laid siege to the compound in Lahore after heavily-armed militants, disguised as policemen, launched their attack. They stormed the academy while recruits were training on the parade ground, killing several people. Soldiers and police surrounded the compound but the attackers continued to fire back using grenades and automatic weapons. Cameras captured the arrest of one suspect; he was said to be armed and carrying an Afghan passport. The battle lasted at least eight hours, as the gunmen holed up inside the building. There are reports of hostages, but it is not known how many people were killed. Police said the number of dead may reach 60. This brazen attack will heighten fears for the stability of Pakistan which is a nuclear power. It comes less than a month after the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team was ambushed in Lahore – six police guards and a driver were killed in that attack and two players wounded. Support for Pakistan was at the centre of President Obama’s recent policy review which made the destruction of al-Qaeda and the Taliban America’s primary objective.