Pakistani police link Lahore attack to local al Qaeda-linked groups

Pakistani police now suspect homegrown groups with links to al Qaeda and Taliban of the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team on March 10, which killed 8 members of the police escort and injured 6 players on their way to play Pakistan in the eastern town of Lahore.
Officials in Islamabad have stopped blaming India, where a similar attack was staged in Mumbai last November killing 170, or Punjabis over president Ali Zardari’s feud with their leader, former prime minister Nawaf Sharif.
Groups like Lashkar e-Jhangvi and Lashkar e-Taibe are now high on the list of suspects.
Taliban has meanwhile advanced in its takeover of parts of Pakistan, gaining control of Swat Valley which president Zardari handed over for a permanent ceasefire guarantee. He faces another nationwide protest rally on March 12 staged by Nawaf and Shebaz Sharif. They accuse the president of influencing the Supreme Court ruling excluding them both from public office.
The attack on the visiting cricket team was better planned and organized than the terrorist attack on the Indian town of Mumbai last November by the same hand. The terrorist organizations had clearly drawn their lessons from that attack – unlike Pakistan’s anti-terror agencies.
debkafile‘s counter-terror sources disclose that most Lashkar e-Taibe’s commanders and members pulled out of Pakistan in early 2008 and relocated at al Qaeda hideouts in Afghanistan. But they enjoy enough popularity in the Pakistan street to operate in almost any part of the country and then go safely to ground. There has been no breakthrough in the Pakistan investigation of the Lahore outrage.

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