Pakistan marks one year since Sri Lanka attacks

LAHORE, March 3, 2010 (AFP) – Pakistan on Wednesday marked the first anniversary of a deadly attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, striving to revive the game in the cricket-mad nation and forge a path out of isolation. Seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach were injured and eight Pakistanis killed when attackers on foot opened fire and hurled grenades at the cricketers’ bus en route to the Gaddafi Stadium in the eastern city of Lahore.

The militants escaped, the second Test was abandoned and the Sri Lankan team flown home as condemnation poured in and the Al-Qaeda-linked menace in Pakistan was again flung under the spotlight.

Lahore police chief Pervez Rathor told private TV channel Express that, one year later, two presumed attackers had been charged, one killed in a shootout and five were on the run.

Pakistan blamed the assault on the Taliban and the attack ended any hopes of hosting international matches in the immediate future.

Pakistan had already been a virtual no-go zone for foreign teams since the September 11, 2001 attacks, which put the nuclear-armed country on the frontline of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and the war against Al-Qaeda.

The Sri Lankan team were in Pak