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Terrorism & Security

Pakistani Army ends siege of police academy

The standoff against militants in Lahore lasted seven hours and left up to 20 dead.

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The BBC reported that confusion reigned outside the police station for fully 90 minutes, before elite commandos finally arrived to take on the militants. It quoted eyewitnesses to the attack, which took place as some 800 unarmed police recruits were doing morning drills.

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The militants entered the sprawling compound, apparently by scaling the boundary wall, and threw grenades at the parading trainees.
Ilyas, a police constable and eyewitness, told reporters: "We were exercising in the training ground inside the compound when we heard a blast."
"A great cloud of dust blew over us and I felt something hit my face. When I touched my face there was blood all over."

The Los Angeles Times reported that the attack had transfixed Pakistani TV viewers.

Like so many modern-day disasters, this one unfolded almost entirely on live TV. Pakistanis were transfixed by images of the confrontation, which included images of dead police recruits lying on the ground inside the compound.

Xinhua reported that India put its own forces on alert after the attack, and urged Pakistan to take stronger action against terrorism. This morning's attack occurred just 60 km (37 miles) from the border with India's northern state of Punjab.

"We condemn the attack in Pakistan. Pakistan will have to continue dismantling the terror infrastructure on its soil which is a threat to several countries," Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said.

Dawn said two suspects had been taken into custody, while an Associated Press photographer saw police take away one suspect from the compound.

Nearly a month ago, militants attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team, also in Lahore. Reuters ran a timeline of that and other attacks.

The Associated Press wrote that the attacks come as Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is struggling with domestic political turmoil and sharp pressure from the US to bring extremist groups to heel.

Pakistan's Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik told state-run TV that Pakistan's police are not equipped to fight the terror wave.
"In our country, at our different borders, arms are coming in, stinger missiles are coming in, rocket launchers are coming in, heavy equipment is coming — it should be stopped," Malik said. "Obviously, whoever did this attack has attacked our country's stability."
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