At least nine police trainees were killed by terrorists at a crowded locality of Lahore in the early hours of Thursday, triggering nationwide alarm as this is the second attack on security personnel in Punjab in four days.
According to the police, masked gunmen on motorcycles stormed a house at around 6 a.m. and opened fire at the cadets who were trainees of the Punjab Jail Academy. As many as 10 others residing in the same accommodation facility for the cadets were injured in the attack.
Eyewitnesses claim to have heard the terrorists come out of the house praising God for a successful mission. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack and said this was to avenge the ill-treatment meted out to their associates in prisons across the country.
The Pakistani Taliban had also claimed responsibility for killing six soldiers of the army and a policeman after ambushing their camp along the Chenab river in Gujrat on Monday morning. The soldiers had been camping in the area for the last few weeks in search of a pilot who went missing in an air crash.
Terrorists attacking security personnel is almost routine in the tribal areas and other parts of north-west Pakistan but such strikes have not taken place in the heart of the country for a long time. Though these two attacks in Punjab have not taken security analysts by surprise as many have long maintained that jihadi outfits have made deep inroads into the body politic of Pakistan’s most populous province, the brazen nature of the strikes has set alarm bells ringing.