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Pakistan says Lahore cricket attack copycat of Mumbai

LAHORE, Pakistan, March 3 (Reuters) - The attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan on Tuesday bore the hallmarks of the same militants that carried out the attack on Mumbai in November, a senior Pakistan official said on Tuesday.

(For full story see [ID:nSP475842])

Around dozen heavily armed assailants attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team’s bus and a police escort as they drove to a stadium in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

He said the police had surrounded the area where the attackers were believed to be now holed up.

“I want to say it’s the same pattern, the same terrorists who attacked Mumbai,” Salman Taseer, governor of central Punjab province, told reporters at the site of the attack.

“They are trained criminals. They were not common people. The kind of weaponry they had, the kind of arms they had, the way they attacked ... they were not common citizens, they were obviously trained.”

Ten gunmen killed 179 people in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai between Nov. 26-28 last year.

India has maintained the plot was hatched in Pakistan and backed by people with links to Pakistani intelligence agencies.

New Delhi has pressed for forceful action by Pakistani authorities against militants belonging to Laskhar-e-Taiba, a jihadi group it says was responsible. The group comes from Pakistan’s Punjab province, whose capital is Lahore.

Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by David Fox

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