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Sri Lanka cricket team air lifted after attack

March 3, 2009

Sri Lankan cricket team was air lifted by a Pakistan airforce helicopter to facilitate their return to Colombo shortly after six of their members were wounded when around a dozen gunmen attacked their bus in Lahore on Tuesday.

Among the players injured in the attack at the busy Liberty Chowk traffic roundabout, located less than a kilometre from the Gaddafi Stadium at 0900 IST, were captain Mahela Jayawardene, wicket-keeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana.

While Samaraweera and Paranavitana received bullet wounds, the others besides the head coach Trevor Bayliss sustained minor injuries, Pakistan Cricket Board officials said.

Seven persons, including five policemen who were escorting the team, were killed and several others, including policemen and cricket officials, were injured in the exchange of fire that lasted for about half an hour.

The attack has been condemned from various quarters.

The Sri Lankan team had come to Pakistan after several other teams, including India, refused to tour the country because of security concerns.

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