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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

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Pakistan hospital attack kills four

PAKISTAN: Gunmen stormed a Pakistani hospital where victims of attacks on Ahmadi mosques were being treated late Monday, killing at least four people in a shootout with security forces, police said.

Disguised in police uniforms, they targeted the Jinnah Hospital in the eastern city of Lahore, where at least 30 victims and one of the alleged attackers in Friday’s suicide, gun and grenade attack on the minority sect were being treated.

“They started indiscriminate firing outside the emergency ward and intensive care unit,” Doctor Javed Akram told reporters.

Police said at least four people — three policemen and a woman — were killed after four gunmen rampaged into the hospital from the back. Akram, who had initially put the death toll at 12, said that at least 30 wounded Ahmadis had been admitted to the hospital and that one of the alleged attackers of Friday’s devastating attacks was being treated in a private room.

Armoured police vans raced to the scene but commanders said the attackers quickly fled.

“The operation is over,” said official Shafiq Gujar.

“It appears the attackers wanted to kill or release the accused (attacker).”

Witnesses told AFP they heard heavy gunfire reverberate around the hospital for at least 15 minutes.

The assault came three days after suspected Sunni Muslim militants wearing suicide vests burst into two Ahmadi prayer halls in two neighbourhoods of Lahore and killed 82 worshippers.

They were the worst attacks in Pakistan since a suicide bomber killed 101 people on January 1 at a volleyball game in Bannu, which abuts the tribal belt along the Afghan border that Washington calls Al-Qaeda headquarters.

Lahore, Tuesday, AFP

 

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