Pakistan arrests Sri Lanka cricket attack suspect: police

LAHORE, June 17, 2009 (AFP) – Pakistani police said Wednesday they had arrested one of seven men from a shadowy Taliban-linked group accused of plotting the deadly attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. Six policemen and two civilians were killed and seven Sri Lankan squad members were injured when militants launched a gun and grenade assault on the team as they travelled to a match in the eastern city on March 3.

“We have identified seven men accused of planning the attack and one of them has been arrested,” Lahore police chief Pervez Rathor told reporters in the city, announcing the first arrest in connection with the ambush.

The attackers’ motive had been to take the Sri Lankan cricket team hostage, Rathor added.

He identified the suspect as Zubair, also known by his alias Nek Mohammad, who appeared at the televised press conference in Lahore with his face completely covered in a black mask.

“We came to Lahore two days before the attack,” Zubair shouted through his mask, adding that they had lodged in a small house on the outskirts of the capital of Punjab province.

Up to 12 gunmen are believed to have taken part in the assault on the bus carrying the Sri Lankan players befor