Lahore, August 28 (Dawn): Four accused terrorists ─ three of whom had been charged with involvement in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team on March 3,2009 in Lahore ─ were killed Saturday night, Punjab’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) said in a statement early Sunday.
“On Aug 27 at about 11pm, a CTD team was taking accused terrorists involved in the Moon Market Iqbal Town Lahore blast of 2008 for pointing out a house in the Lakho Dehr area where they had made preparations for the attack at that time,” the CTD said.
The CTD said that the team was “attacked by 7-8 terrorists” when they reached the East Service Road of Ring Road near the Mian Town bridge.
“The CTD team returned fire. When the firing stopped, four accused terrorists were found dead.”
Those killed were identified as Zubair alias Naik Muhammad, Abdul Wahab, Adnan Arshad and Ateequr Rehman.
“The first three terrorists were also involved in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009, in which six police officials were killed and the cricketers were injured,” the CTD said.
A bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricketers came under a gun and grenade attack at Liberty Chowk, near Qaddafi Stadium, on March 3, 2009. Seven players and an assistant coach were wounded, while eight Pakistanis were killed in the attack.
The CTD further said that the attackers fled the scene under cover of darkness leaving behind a large quantity of weapons. An investigation is underway to arrest terrorists who had fled.
An anti-terrorism court in June indicated six members of a banned outfit in the Sri Lankan cricket team attack case. The suspects included Obaidullah, Javed Anwar, Ibrahim Khalil, Abdul Wahab, Zubair and Adnan Arshad. The first three suspects are on bail, while others were behind bars.
All the suspects had pleaded not guilty and decided to contest the case during an in-camera hearing in Kot Lakhpat jail.
The alleged mastermind of the attack, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi chief Malik Ishaq, was killed in July last year during a shootout between CTD personnel and militants who tried to get their leader freed from custody in Muzaffargarh.