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Gunmen attack S Lanka cricketers

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At least five members of the Sri Lankan cricket team have been injured in a shooting incident in the Pakistani city of Lahore, a Sri Lankan minister says.

Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge told the BBC that early reports indicated that the injuries to five players and a coach were minor.

The incident happened when unidentified gunmen fired on a convoy carrying Sri Lankan and Pakistani cricketers.

At least five policemen have been killed in the attack, police say.

Sri Lankan media reports said two of the players including Thilan Samaraweera, who scored a double century in the ongoing Test match, have been taken to hospital.

The BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad says the gunmen opened fire on the Sri Lankan team bus which was on its way to the Gaddafi stadium, venue for a Test match between the two sides.

The third day of play in the Second Test was scheduled to begin, but officials said the match has now been cancelled.

"It appears that our team bus was targeted on the way to the match. It appears that four of our cricketers have been injured and taken to the hospital," a Sri Lankan cricket official told an Indian TV channel from Colombo.

TV pictures showed two gunmen with backpacks on the road where the incident happened.

The police said grenades and rocket launchers had been found at the site of the incident.

An eyewitness told Reuters news agency that three policemen and a traffic warden had been killed in the incident.

Shop owner Ahmed Ali said two policemen had been driving behind the team bus when the attack happened.

"It was a very heavy firing and I heard at least two explosions at the time," an eyewitness told Reuters.

Pakistani invited Sri Lanka to tour after India's cricket team pulled out of a scheduled cricket tour following the deadly November attacks in the western Indian city of Mumbai.

Our correspondent says the incident will come as a big blow to Pakistan cricket. India and Australia have pulled out of cricket tours to the country in the recent past citing security concerns.

BBC News

 

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