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Attack on SL cricket team was a hostage operation : LeJ

world Updated: Jan 21, 2011 11:53 IST
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One of the main accused in the terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009 in Lahore, Pakistan has claimed that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi had plan to take the visiting players hostage and bargain for the release of some of its detained members.

Abdul Wahab alias Omar, who is under dentition, told Geo News that the operation against the Sri Lankan team was planned in Waziristan. "The operation was planned in Waziristan and there were 12 of us designated for this mission. I belonged to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Amjad Farooqi group," the bearded Wahab, dressed in a white shalwar kameez said.

He said the purpose of the attack at the Liberty roundabout was to take the Sri Lankan players hostage.

"We were supposed to take them hostage and then our superiors would have bargained their release in exchange for some of our companions in custody," Wahab said. He said the attackers arrived at Liberty roundabout just minutes before the arrival of the Sri Lankan team bus.

"We came in a rickshaw and on motorcycles that we had purchased for this operation," said Wahab, who received training in Waziristan. Five Sri Lankan players were injured and six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed in the attack in March, 2009, which led to foreign teams turning down tours to Pakistan and the ICC moving World Cup matches away from the country due to security concerns.

Pakistani authorities have made several arrests in the case.

Wahab said the men behind the attack fled to Waziristan immediately after the attack. "We got our ammunition and guns in Lahore a day before the operation was carried out," he added. The attack was botched up after the driver of the Sri Lankan team bus managed to drive the bus through to the Gaddafi stadium in a hail of bullets. Wahab said that he was stationed behind the bus and fired at it repeatedly to ensure it stopped there.