Onlanka News – by Walter Jayawardhana
Pakistani officials in Lahore said a terrorist wanted for alleged involvement in the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team was killed in a shootout with police in Pakistan’s Punjab province, on Thursday.
International cricket in Pakistan has been suspended since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in in March 2009.
Law enforcement agencies started checking vehicles near Ghazi Ghat bridge in Multan, 400 km from Lahore, after getting a tip-off on Wednesday that some terrorists were bound for the city in public transport.
During the checking of a bus, a passenger tried to escape. This led to an exchange of fire with policemen and the man, identified as Abdul Ghafar Qaisrani alias Saifullah, was killed instantly.
A grenade and two guns were found in his luggage. Saifullah was an active member of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and also worked for a militant faction known as the “Mateeullah group”, officials said.
Officials said Saifullah was tasked with raising funds for militants through bank robberies. He had received training in Afghanistan, they said.
SSP (operations) Gohar Nafees said the police action had prevented a “major terror attack” in Multan as Saifullah had come to the region to target sensitive installations. He said Saifullah was wanted for the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.
The attack left eight persons dead and seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach injured.