Trainee police officers at an academy on the outskirts of the Pakistani city of Lahore came in for a rude shock on Monday, as unidentified gunmen swarmed the campus and opened indiscriminate fire killing at least 22 and wounding scores of others. Condemning the attack, India has expressed “deep concerns” over the gruesome attack.
According to correspondents the gunmen, still present on campus have taken several trainee officers hostage.
They add that soldiers and paramilitary forces have laid siege to the compound amid a heavy exchange of gunfire.
Some 800 people were present on the police training school campus when the attack launched by some 22 armed attackers began.
“Our elite squad has surrounded the area. God willing, now we will get into the building,” Mushtaq Sukhera, a senior police official was quoted as saying.
Reports suggest that the police was using armored vehicles to evacuate those tapped inside the training facility.
Security officials in Pakistan say the trainee officials were preparing for classes when the attack commenced.
Witnesses say the attackers entered the academy disguised as police officers.
The attackers reportedly hurled grenades at the police and TV footage showed several police officers bleeding and lying on the ground.
Terror incidents are growing alarmingly regular in Pakistan with the government and the security apparatus miserably failing to curtail the menace.
Though Lahore, long hailed the cultural capital of Pakistan, has remained unaffected the terror menace the attack on Monday follows the bizarre daylight attack on the visiting Sri Lankan cricketers earlier this month.
On one of the first reactions to the incident, India expressed deep concern and condemnation over the terrorist attack on a police training school in Lahore.
“India is deeply concerned over the attack in Lahore and condemns the incident,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told the media.
Meanwhile, Indian Foreign Ministry reiterated that Pakistan should take steps to dismantle the terror infrastructure on its soil.
“We condemn the attack in Pakistan. Pakistan will have to continue dismantling the terror infrastructure on its soil which is a threat to several countries,” Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said.