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Pakistani Officials Report Progress in Cricket Attack Probe

By VOA News
06 March 2009

Pakistani authorities said they are making progress in the investigation of Tuesday's deadly attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.

Senior officials said they are "on the right track" and will soon release their findings on the assault, which killed seven Pakistanis and wounded six Sri Lankan players and a coach.

Local news reports said investigators suspect the involvement of home-grown militants, including members of the banned Pakistan-based Islamic terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. India blamed the group for the Mumbai attacks in November.

On Thursday, Punjab provincial governor Salman Taseer told reporters authorities had identified the team's attackers, but did not elaborate. That same day, police released sketches of four suspects.

Police have questioned about 50 people and made several arrests, but no one has been charged.

At least 12 men attacked the Sri Lankan team's convoy Tuesday, firing rockets, grenades and automatic weapons as it approached Gaddafi stadium in the central Pakistani city of Lahore.

A reward of $125,000 has been offered for information on the attackers.

The attack has raised fears over the threat posed by militants in Pakistan.

It has also sparked criticism of Pakistani authorities, for gaps in security before and after the ambush.

Members of the team's entourage said authorities promised them "presidential-style" security, but security forces fled once the assault began. Pakistani television stations aired surveillance video that showed the alleged gunmen calmly walking away after the incident.

Security concerns have plagued Pakistan for many years, and some foreign sports teams have refused to play in the country.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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