Lahore attack video surfaces

Nov 30, -0001
Staff Report

KARACHI: Closed-circuit camera footage of the attack on the May 27 Lahore Rescue-15 office has surfaced.

Around 30 people were killed and at least 250 wounded when gunmen fired and lobbed grenades at offices of the police and top intelligence agency then detonated an explosive-laden van.

According to analysis, 13 militants had attacked the building and it is being said that their target was to "silence" the terrorists under investigations at the ISI building located behind the Rescue 15 office.

Security analysts say Pakistan is facing too many threats from terrorism, which is extremely difficult to control. They say that the attack on the Sri Lankan team, Manawan Police Academy and the attack on Rescue 15 are said to be linked.


Defence analyst Ikram Sehgal, talking to SAMAA said, "There is a lapse in security when an attack becomes successful."

He said, the attackers were determined and had come for a purpose. The target was the ISI Headquarters where the investigations for the attack on the Sri Lankan team are going on.

"The attack on the Sri Lankan team reeks of Indian involvement," he said.

He said, "Baitullah Mehsud has warned the citizens to leave the cities. 'Where should the people go,'" he questioned.

Security can be improved if young and innovative police officers are inducted into the force. "Pervez Rathore is one such officer," he assured, but said, "The attacks happened when he had just taken charge."

To a question he said, that individuals from the army, navy and the air force should be inducted into the police force and anti-terrorism training should be imparted to them.

In reply to another question he said, "The subject of criminology has been sidelined," adding, "The people who study criminology are also sidelined and the reason cited is that they are educated beyond necessity."


The attackers' modus operandii was to clear the area before ramming the vehicle into the building, said senior journalist and analyst Ejaz Haider.

"These buildings and institutions should be relocated," adding, "They were constructed at their present location when such threats did not exist."

Security was much better as the area was barricaded and the van had to negotiate the barriers before nearing the gate, he pointed out.

The Serena Hotel is much less inaccessible than the Marriott, he analysed.

The building of the Marriott, in comparison, was much more "open" but now no one can get near the building, he said.

"The police has no training to counter terrorism," he said.

"You can never reach perfection in training against terrorism," he emphasised, adding, "It is difficult to preempt an attack."

The other factors which come into play to make acts of terrorism successful are traffic jams and busy areas, he analysed.

"The media can be of great help in making people aware against terrorism," Haider said.

There should be snipers at all times on such buildings to "engage" terrorists, he stressed.

He finished with saying, "It is a learning curve!"


Senior Minister of Punjab and leader of the Pakistan Mulsim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Zulfiqar Khosa said, "The police has no counter terrorism training."

"We should upgrade their equipment and provide them contemporary weapons," he stressed.

Surveillance equipment should be set up everywhere he said, adding "A scanner costs $3 million."

He said, terrorists want to dismantle the nation.

"There was no lapse in security," he said adding, "The police gave their lives to save the nation."

He suggested that people should point out and tell the police if they see a new face or anyone behaving suspiciously in any area, especially a central one.

AGENCIES ADD: The Taliban in Pakistan claimed responsibility on Thursday for an attack on police and intelligence agency offices that killed about 30 people, saying it was revenge for the army's current offensive against the militants.

Hakimullah Mehsud, a deputy to Pakistani Taliban chief, Baitullah Mehsud, told The Associated Press in a telephone call that Wednesday's suicide attack in Lahore "was in response to the Swat operation where innocent people have been killed."

A little-known group calling itself the Taliban Movement in Punjab has also claimed responsibility for the attack.

The government announced bounties for 21 Taliban leaders in northwestern Pakistan, after blaming militants for Wednesday's assault.

Meanwhile in Lahore, residents were still reeling with sadness and shock on Thursday, a day after the attack.

Wednesday's midmorning blast on a crowded street damaged an area nearly as big as a city block, mangling cars, spraying bricks in all directions and leaving behind a swimming pool-sized crater.

Most of the dead and injured were civilians.

Washington and other Western allies back the Swat campaign and are watching closely, seeing it as a test of the government's resolve to combat the spread of extremism in Pakistan.

The attack in Lahore was far from the restive Afghan border region where the Taliban have established strongholds from which officials say they have launched attacks on Western forces in Afghanistan.

It was the third deadly assault since March in Lahore, the intellectual and cultural heart of the Punjab, the country's most populous province.

Before March, it had largely escaped the violence that has plagued many parts of the country, but officials now fear militants may be choosing targets there to make the point that nowhere is beyond their reach.

Officials said three suspects had been detained. SAMAA/AGENCIES





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