New terror in Lahore

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Less than a month after an ambush on Sri Lanka's visiting cricket team in the heart of Lahore, another terrorist incident has rocked the cultural capital of Pakistan.

At the time of going to press, Pakistani soldiers had surrounded a police academy where heavily armed gunmen were holed up after storming the compound in a brazen attack that killed at least 26 officers, wounded more than 90 and trapped others inside on Monday 30 March 2009. Soldiers and other security forces battled gunmen for hours after the initial assault on the outskirts of the city in scenes reminiscent of November 2008's militant siege on the Indian city of Mumbai. Television footage showed armoured vehicles entering the compound after the early morning attack. Some police tried to escape by crawling on their hands and knees around the bodies of fallen officers. Six hours after the initial assault, police captured one of the suspected gunmen, dragging him to a field outside the academy and kicking him. Soon afterward, four loud explosions rocked the scene. Pakistan's top civilian security official said that militant groups were " destabilising the country. " The incident is bound to raise fresh concerns for forthcoming major events in the Indian sub–continent. The Indian Premier League has already been moved to South Africa following concerns over security, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi are constantly being scrutinised over safety concerns for athletes and visitors. Tarique Ghaffur, the former assistant commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police Service, has presented his views on the first terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan exclusively to MEI members. In 'Lessons from Lahore', a special white paper for MEI members, Ghaffur said: "Any emerging concerns from the Lahore attack must... relate to operational issues such as the security planning, leadership, and command and control. "

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