Pakistani police target of bombings; Pakistani turmoil explained; South Korea opposes retaliation to rocket launch; China to re-open Tibet's borders; and more
Top of the Agenda: Lahore Terror Attack
Less than a month after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan, the city has fallen prey to another major terrorist attack. The New York Times reports gunmen "firing indiscriminately and throwing grenades" infiltrated a police training center outside of the city. The attackers laid siege to the academy for much of the day, before Pakistani police raided the facility, overpowering the gunmen (Dawn). News reports of casualty figures vary. The Times reports at least twenty-seven people were killed, and ninety more wounded. The BBC reports as many as forty people may have been killed. The Telegraph quotes local news stations saying sixty people might be dead.
The attack comes as a blow to Pakistan's embattled police force, which experts say is struggling to contain militancy in the country. As yet, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Counterterrorism Blog writes that the tactics and "fidayeen style" of today's attack suggests the involvementof groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), but adds that the involvement of foreign jihadists can't be ruled out.
- This Backgrounder explains Pakistan's turmoil.
- This one focuses on the different militant groups operating inside the country.
PACIFIC RIM: Considering North Korea
South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak has said he opposes taking military action (Yonhap) against North Korea if it fires a rocket, as planned, early next week. Lee's statement followed comments from U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that Washington does not plan (NYT) to shoot down the rocket.
TIBET: After a lengthy closure following violence last spring, China says it will reopen Tibet (AP) to foreign tourists in early April.
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